AUSTIN, Texas—In celebration of Black History Month, the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs will host the Fourth Annual Barbara Jordan Memorial Forum on Diversity in Public Policy at the University of Texas at Austin on Feb. 17¬19. The event is held annually in February to commemorate and preserve Barbara Jordan’s commitment to the value of diversity in public policy.
The forum is a cooperative effort between students, alumni, faculty, and staff of the LBJ School of Public Affairs as well as members of the Austin community. It enables participants to examine public policy issues and mentor future generations of public policy students. This year, the forum will explore the theme of Serving Others, Not Yourself: Mentoring Texas. Participants will have an opportunity to explore the actions, involvement, resources, and support needed to build and maintain successful mentoring relationships.
“Barbara Jordan dedicated her life to others,” said Edwin Dorn, dean of the LBJ School of Public Affairs. “It was her dream to see a growing number of public policy leaders from a wide variety of backgrounds, experiences and perspectives working together to improve the quality of life in their communities. The Barbara Jordan Memorial Forum is a way to continue building on her dream.”
Black History Month activities include an original two-act, one-woman play about the life and achievements of Barbara Jordan. The play, featuring Houston-born actress Franchelle Stewart Dorn, is entitled E Pluribus Unum, Barbara Jordan: One Voiceand runs Feb. 11-21 at the State Theater. Admission is $25 per person. The performance scheduled for Feb. 17 is being held in conjunction with the Barbara Jordan Memorial Forum on Diversity in Public Policy.
On Feb. 18, forum activities will include a career fair for student participants as well as a 1 p.m. tribute to Barbara Jordan by Mary Beth Rogers, president and CEO of KLRU-TV in Austin and author of Jordan’s biography. Mary Beth Rogers will speak about her book, Barbara Jordan: American Hero. Rogers taught at the LBJ School alongside Jordan, who was at the school until her death in January 1996. Jordan joined the faculty in 1979, when she retired from the U.S. Congress.
A panel discussion among women leaders at 2:30 p.m. on Feb. 18 will examine diversity in higher education and explore how they, as leaders, design policies that affect women and minorities at the institutional level.
Panelists include Shirley Strum Kenney, president of the State University of New York at Stony Brook; Wilhelmina Delco, former chair of the Higher Education Committee in the Texas House of Representatives; Carol McDonald (LBJ Class of ’77), president of Independent Colleges and Universities of Texas; Janis Stout, associate provost and dean of faculty at Texas A&M University; Lucia Gilbert, UT Austin vice provost; and Ellen Wartella, dean of the UT Austin College of Communication. LBJ School of Public Affairs Associate Professor Victoria Rodríguez will moderate the panel, which is cosponsored by the UT Austin Center for Women’s Studies, the Center for African and African American Studies and the Center for Mexican American Studies.
Feb. 19 activities will include a career fair and events aimed at teaching prospective students about the LBJ School of Public Affairs. That morning, Luci Baines Johnson, daughter of former President Lyndon Johnson, will have breakfast with students involved in the program. Also that day, small group sessions will be held examining the values of a public policy education. The afternoon will feature a keynote address by Ben Johnson, assistant to the president and director of the White House Office on the President’s Initiative for One America. His talk will be followed by roundtable discussions featuring mentoring initiatives around Texas.
The conference events on campus are free and open to the public. A full schedule is available at the conference Web site: http://barbarajordanforum.org/. More information also is available from Stephanie Hill of the LBJ School of Public Affairs at (512) 471-0801.
This year’s Barbara Jordan Forum is sponsored by the LBJ School Public Affairs Alliance for Communities of Color and Graduate Public Affairs Council, Andersen Consulting, Blacktexas.com, the University of Texas Graduate Outreach Program, the LBJ Alumni Association’s Austin Chapter, and the Cabinet of College Councils.