By Rev. Brittany Graves

Never did I imagine Texas making the national news for a massive power outage during my time visiting with family in my hometown. All during a time where Texans endure record low temperatures and the most snow I have experienced in Austin. The first time it snowed this winter was full of awe and wonder. Many people, including myself, played in the snow and made snow angels. The second time around the circumstances have changed substantially.

This week I have checked in on family and friends in the area that are without electricity and water. I am few of the fortunate people that still has power and water, but if I was in my childhood home in east Austin I would not currently have power. The eastside of Austin is home to predominately black and brown families and it is one of the locations in Austin the city chose to abandon first to lose power and water. As that part of town has become more gentrified, many of the white families who have moved into the neighborhood have momentarily left their homes in the power outage for warmer options. An option many people do not have.

Texas’ deregulated and privatized power grid has failed millions of its residents and the blame game from Governor Abbott is not helping resolve the issue. What largely started with power outages first in black and brown neighborhoods is quickly affecting more neighborhoods negatively, as the poorly weatherized power plants cannot support the amount of people needing heat. Homes that have circuits connected to hospitals, businesses, or that live in wealthier neighborhoods maintain power and water supply, while the majority of people are without power and water for five days and counting.

Many people have become resourceful saving snow to flush toilets or making creative forts to maintain warmth. All hope is not lost, but Texas residents could use a lot of encouragement in an already difficult season.

What you can do:

  • Check in on your friends, family and loved ones.
  • Texan’s with power: conserve energy where it’s possible
  • Click here for cold weather resources and ways to support & donate.


God of mercy and love,

in a time where many feel helpless, extend provision.

In a time where many are frustrated, be ever-present.

In a time where many have become resourceful, grant continued hope.

May those who need it most have support and the essentials needed to make it through a challenging circumstance.

May we do all we can to care for others as we do the best to take care of ourselves.

May we rise up to challenge state leaders and elected officials to care for the constituents they are called to advocate for.  


Rev. Brittany Graves is associate coordinator, Public Witness & Advocacy, American Baptist Home Mission Societies. She welcomes your input at [email protected] and engagement on Instagram @ambitiouslyBrittany.

Photo by David Skyrius fromPexels