Annette Strauss Institute for Civic Life Awarded Political Education Grant


Annette Strauss Institute for Civic Life Awarded Political Education Grant

Hatton W. Sumners Foundation to fund 2013 New Politics Forum events


The Annette Strauss Institute for Civic Life in the College of Communication at The University of Texas at Austin was recently awarded a grant of $120,000 from the Hatton W. Sumners Foundation to fund the 2013 New Politics Forum events, which run from January 2013 to December 2013.

The forums seek to facilitate political conversation and engagement for youth and have expanded in reach and capacity entering into the forum's 10th year with five events slated for the next calendar year.

The next New Politics Forum event will be the "Texas Legislative Intern Seminar," hosted in partnership with the Texas Politics Project on Saturday, Jan. 19 at the State Capitol in Austin.

Other events scheduled for 2013 include "Executive Communication Training," "Campaign Bootcamp," a Hatton W. Sumners "Careers in Politics" conference in Dallas, and a "Conference on Civic Life." The Institute also plans to conduct a tenth anniversary alumni survey next summer to explore where graduates of the program have ventured in their careers.

"The New Politics Forum is unique. Graduates of NPF gain a foundation in skills, concepts, and ethical training that they take with them into careers in politics, policy, and public service," said Regina Lawrence, director of the Annette Strauss Institute for Civic Life. "Through NPF, young people connect with leaders and with future leaders and often land their first job in politics. We are so grateful for the Hatton W. Sumners Foundation's support."

Various governmental, civic, and educational organizations from around Texas and the United States actively bring students to participate in New Politics Forum events, highlighting the value and significance of the program.

"NPF is a great way for students to learn from experts and apply their learning in hands-on exercises," said Mike Yawn, professor of political science at Sam Houston State University. "It's three days of fun and learning that isn't matched by any program in the state."

The New Politics Forum was established in 2003 to respond to the growing political cynicism and disaffection by putting young people at the center of the democratic landscape and sharing political knowledge on a strictly nonpartisan basis by bringing students into contact with experienced political professionals, members of the working press, and university researchers.

The program seeks to build a solid foundation for students interested in a career in politics and the importance of civic participation. Events engage people in the political process, teach them about our nation's democratic heritage and encourage individuals to embrace leadership roles in their communities.

The Hatton W. Sumners Foundation supports programs and activities that will result in an increased understanding by the public of the benefits of individual freedom and civic and personal responsibility, and the corresponding threat to liberty posed by a lack of informed, active participation by citizens at all levels of government. 

For more on New Politics Forum events, visit the program website.

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Nick Hundley, (512) 471-7209