By NBC News

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 Aug 31, 2021
as a North Texas native this show does an incredible job interviewing actual Southlake families and making sure their voices are heard above the voices of politicians who never lived here.


Southlake, Texas, seems to have it all: stately homes, intense civic pride, and above all, terrific schools. So when a video surfaced in 2018 showing Southlake high school students chanting the N-word—and when Black residents came forward to share stories of racist harassment and bullying—the school board vowed to make changes. But the unveiling of the Cultural Competence Action Plan set off a backlash that’s consumed Southlake, fueled by a growing national crusade against critical race theory. Hosted by NBC News national reporter Mike Hixenbaugh (host of the hit podcast Do No Harm) and NBC News correspondent Antonia Hylton, Southlake tells the story of how one idyllic city became the test case for a new political strategy with national repercussions.

Episode Date
The Debate Channel

The election to fill two school board seats takes center stage—and becomes a referendum on the school district’s diversity plan. At a secretly recorded meeting, members of Southlake Families PAC grill a prospective candidate about conservative political causes, from opposition to Black Lives Matter to abortion. As school board candidates debate whether Carroll's code of conduct is enough to protect students, a queer 16-year-old takes a complaint of harassment to Carroll Senior High School’s principal — and the response leaves her feeling even less safe at school. In the final days before the election, candidates knock on doors, and outgoing Mayor Laura Hill gives a speech calling opponents of the diversity plan to action.

Sep 20, 2021
The Circus Comes to Town

Parents in Southlake discover a new label for what's been bothering them about all this diversity, equity and inclusion talk: critical race theory. A new fixation on the academic concept muddies the debate, drowning out the voices of students who’d come forward with stories about racism. Kimberlé Crenshaw, one of the founding scholars of CRT, sheds light on the national battle over the theory, warning of dire consequences. And Tucker Carlson, Dana Loesch, and even Demi Lovato all put a spotlight on Southlake, where the local fight has grown even more divisive — and more personal.

Sep 13, 2021
The Not-So-Silent Majority

Facing a wave of backlash to its proposed Cultural Competence Action Plan, Southlake’s school board tries to find middle ground — but winds up angering everyone. The school board meeting room turns into a battleground, as scores of conservative parents line up to explain their objections to any changes to the curriculum or disciplinary measures designed to protect students of color. Behind the scenes, with the help of powerful figures like Texas GOP Chairman Allen West, a new political action committee begins work to stop what supporters say is a “liberal takeover” of their school district. They sue to put the diversity plan on hold, and their efforts catch the attention of conservatives outside Southlake.

You can read the text of Carroll ISD’s draft diversity plan here.


Sep 06, 2021
Home of the Dragons

Southlake, Texas, is an immaculate, largely white suburb 30 minutes from Dallas. It’s a magnet for well-off parents looking for public schools that will get their kids into top-tier universities — and it doesn’t hurt that the town’s Carroll High School Dragons routinely compete for the state football championship. Frank and Robin Cornish, a Black couple, moved to Southlake in the 1990s after Frank fell in love with the place, and he soon recruited fellow Dallas Cowboys to join them. But then the Cornish family suffered a tragedy, and gradually they began to see a different side of their town. In 2018, a viral video of students yelling the N-word brought their concerns to the surface — and exposed racism in Southlake's schools. The whole town seemed to get behind a plan to confront first.

Aug 30, 2021
Just a Word

Southlake’s leaders try to bring the community together in the weeks after the viral N-word video. But inside the halls of Carroll High, Black students aren't feeling heard. In the midst of the turmoil, 17-year-old Raven Rolle secretly records her emotional showdown in the principal’s office with a white student who insists that anyone should be able to say the N-word. Meanwhile, the school district is forging ahead with a plan to address racist bullying, but before officials can release it, a pandemic and a national racial reckoning throws everything off track. A friend of Raven’s, Nikki Olaleye, organizes a Black Lives Matter rally in town square—and fear takes hold in Southlake.

CORRECTION (Sept. 2, 2021, 04:30 p.m. ET): A previous version of this episode misstated the hotel where the 2018 homecoming dance was held. It was a Hilton hotel, not a Westin.

Aug 30, 2021

Beautiful Southlake, Texas, seemed too good to be true—until a video emerged of white high school students chanting the N-word. But it was the school district’s plan to confront racism that really sent residents on the warpath. Hosted by reporter Mike Hixenbaugh and correspondent Antonia Hylton, Southlake is a six-part series about belonging—and backlash—in an American suburb. Coming August 30. 

Aug 20, 2021