AUSTIN, Texas—Community and political leaders in Dallas have announced the official opening of the Annette Strauss Institute for Civic Participation, established at The University of Texas at Austin in 2000 to respond to growing political cynicism and disaffection in the United States.
“It will be both a research institute and an applied center to design new ways to engage young people in the civic and political lives of their communities,” University of Texas at Austin Professor Roderick P. Hart, director of the institute, said in a news conference in Dallas on Tuesday (May 7).
“Our job is to create practical ways of quickening the democratic pulse. We work with young people for two reasons: that’s where the greatest problem lies, and that’s where the future of our democracy lies, as well,” he said.
Hart, who holds the Shivers Chair in communication and government, said his goal is to “create more Annette Strausses.”
Strauss was on the Dallas City Council from 1983 through 1987 and was mayor from 1987 to 1991. By the time she took office as mayor, Strauss had spent about 40 years as a city volunteer and community activist. As mayor, she was said to be one of the few people who had equal access to the city’s diverse communities.
Tuesday’s event was hosted by Ted Strauss and chaired by John Crawford, former chair of the Greater Dallas Chamber of Commerce; Charles Terrell Sr., chair of Unimark; Clay Mulford of Hughes and Luce; and Dallas banker Ron Steinhart.
The author of 10 books, Hart has lectured at more than 60 college and universities in the United States. He has been named a Research Fellow by the International Communication Association, a Distinguished Scholar by the National Communication Association and has received the Edelman Career Award from the American Political Science Association. He also is a member of the Academy of Distinguished Teachers at the university.
For further information contact: Rod Hart (512) 471-1956.