Events and News

Annette Strauss Institute for Civic Life

Upcoming Events

Great Conversations 2020  - New Date
Thursday, October 1, 2020 - Austin, TX

Please join honorary Co-Chairs, Janie Strauss McGarr and Nancy Strauss Halbreich for Great Conversations 2020 in Austin, Texas. Great Conversations, the Institute’s only annual fundraising event, is an evening where politically engaged Texans from all parties come together for dinner to honor and be reminded of the state we want to become – one where citizens are informed, engaged, civil and respectful to one another. The event this year is particularly significant as we celebrate the 20th Anniversary of the Institute’s founding.  We hope you will join us by purchasing a ticket or sponsoring a table.

Great Conversations: Student Opportunity - New Date

Thursday, October 1, 2020 - Austin, TX 

Join us for Great Conversations 2020 - Student applications now open! Students selected will receive complimentary admission to the Great Conversation VIP reception and dinner. Take advantage of this opportunity to serve as a university representative and engage in lively discussions with Texas policymakers and civic leaders.  Apply here

Fixing American Politics Conference

Thursday, October 1, 2020 -- Saturday, October 3, 2020  - Austin, TX - New Date

When the Annette Strauss Institute for Civic Life was founded in 2000, Dr. Roderick P. Hart organized a conference to identify pressing problems in the area of political communication. Now, twenty years later, another conference, Fixing American Politics, brings together scholars to focus more directly on solutions. Twenty-eight presenters from the fields of Communication and Political Science will discuss such remedies as: “Deal Seriously With What the Past Tells Us,” “Rethink Voters' Campaign Experiences,” “Embrace the Nation's Full Diversity,” “Discover Alternatives to Established Institutions,” “Approach Traditional Journalism Differently,” and “Confront Human Differences More Creatively. This three-day event promotes civic engagement and encourages vigorous but nonpartisan discussion.

Recent Events

Winter 2020 State Civics Fair

Thursday, February 20, 2020 - Austin, TX

Speak Up Speak Out  participants work together as teams to identify community problems, craft innovative solutions that address them, and compete for the chance to present their findings to community leaders at the State Civics Fair. Winning teams receive funds to use toward the implementation of their solutions. The next State Civics Fair will take place at the State Capitol Building in February 2020.

Executive Communication Training

January 9 -  January 10, 2020 - Austin, TX

On January 9th & 10th, the Institute’s New Politics Forum hosted the 10th annual Executive Communication Training at Belo Center for New Media, The University of Texas at Austin. For two days, 15 individuals from nonprofits, NGOs, and political and corporate organizations strengthened their communication skills through several interactive workshops and intensive training. Communications specialists Jenifer Sarver and Marjorie Clifton taught participants how to create engaging and practical presentations, develop clear messages that resonate with target audiences, and how to speak in public and with the media confidently.

National Conference on Citizenship (Civvy Awards)

October 29 -  October 30, 2019 - College Park, MD

The Civvys celebrate best practices in civic collaboration that put community and nation before party, ideology and narrow interests. Since its inaugural year, the Civvys have highlighted outstanding efforts of civic collaboration making impacts in National, Local and Youth communities. 

Denius Symposium

Thursday, October 10, 2019 - Austin, TX

A panel of journalists and scholars will convene Oct. 10 at the Denius Symposium on News Integrity, a new series launched by the School of Journalism and the Annette Strauss Institute for Civic Life, to stir conversation in the media about ethical values in the press.

Recent News

The Student Vote Is Surging. So Are Efforts to Suppress It.

Annette Strauss Institute Receives Texas Bar Foundation Grant to Fund Speak Up! Speak Out! for Elementary Schools

CityLab: When Local Newsrooms Shrink, Fewer Candidates Run for Mayor