A culture of inclusivity — both within the classroom and the larger school — is integral to a robust educational experience, and creating diverse programming has been a major focus at the LBJ School over the past five years. Diversifying the school's culture is a necessary but not sufficient condition for promoting diversity, equity and inclusivity — but it has been an important step in supporting ongoing DEI efforts in composition and curriculum. 
Through the Center for the Study of Race and Democracy (CSRD) and the Office of Civic Engagement, as well as through programs including the "Policy on Purpose" podcast, we can bring forth a representative and rich array of voices. 

Below are steps taken and those charted for the immediate future.

School Level

There has been a sharp focus on diversifying programming in the last five years. A diversification of culture is a necessary but not sufficient condition for promoting diversity, equity and inclusivity. However, it has been an important step to support ongoing composition and curriculum DEI efforts.

The Office of Civic Engagement was established in 2019 to more intentionally engage diverse communities through strategic partnerships and programming. Its purpose is to provide resources and programming that are responsive to the contemporary issues of our diverse communities. In hosting moderated conversations, public lectures and workshops the Office of Civic Engagement bridges the LBJ community to policy leaders in the arena. Programming centers on the voices of diverse leaders as well as policy issues that affect minority and under-served communities.

2021 thus far

  • Unpacking the Latino Landscape: 2020 & Beyond — a four-part discussion series focused on Latinos in the United States:
    • Latinos and the 2020 Election: A Post-Mortem
    • A Deep Dive – Texas & the Latino Electorate
    • Is Demography Destiny? Latinos, The Census, & What Lies Ahead
    • The Genesis of "Latino" & Its Ongoing Transformation
  • The Path to Racial Equity: Practical Steps Toward a More Equal Society — a six-part discussion series focused issues surrounding racial inequity in Austin:
    • Education and Understanding
    • How Did We Get Here?
    • Organizational Diversification, inclusion and advancement
    • Economic Justice
    • A view from the next generation
    • Political influence and involvement
  • When Women Win, sponsored by the LBJ Women's Campaign School — a nonpartisan program launched in 2020 that trains women to run for office or manage campaigns. The LBJ WCS seeks to directly address the representational gap in elected positions at every level and across all groups of women.



LBJ School Alumni: 2020 Outstanding Alumni Awards, honoring Alejandra Castillo (MPAff '98) and Lauren Rose (MPAff '10)

Center for the Study of Race and Democracy (CSRD):

Hispanic Heritage Month: Latino Vote 2020, with Latino strategist, New York Times columnist and author Chuck Rocha

LBJ School 50th anniversary

  • FORUM I: In the Arena: The LBJ Era… to the Present, featuring about the greatest challenges of our time, from economic inequity and racial justice to climate change, with Darren Walker of the Ford Foundation; Carla Hayden of the Library of Congress; Martine Rothblatt of United Therapeutics; Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel of the University of Pennsylvania; Tom Freston of the ONE Campaign; Dr. Rajiv Singh of the Rockefeller Foundation; and Sherrie Westin of Sesame Workshop
  • FORUM II: In the Arena: Defining a New Destiny, focused on racial justice, equity and democracy, with Melinda Gates of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation; Jamie Dimon of JPMorgan Chase; Dr. Lonnie Bunch of the Smithsonian Institution; Anousheh Ansari of the XPRIZE Foundation; James B. Milliken, chancellor of The University of Texas System; Adm. William McRaven; Stacey Abrams (MPAff '98) of Fair Fight Action; and Pete Buttigieg, former presidential candidate and Mayor of South Bend, Indiana

LBJ In the Arena

Barbara Jordan National Forum
The Office of Civic Engagement has brought the annual Barbara Jordan National Forum under its portfolio to provide this annual commemoration greater reach and organizational resources. In 2020, the LBJ School celebrated the 23rd annual Barbara Jordan National Forum, a student-led weeklong series of events paying tribute to former congresswoman, distinguished public servant and teacher Barbara Jordan, whose legacy as a leader in advocating for social change is integral to the school's history and mission.

2020 Barbara Jordan National Forum events:

Clements Center

Strauss Center



  • CSRD: In 2018, the CSRD Graduate Research Associates presented "Civil Rights in Burnt Orange," an oral history and policy project chronicling UT and the city of Austin's transition from Jim Crow to racial integration. The film was directed by Roosevelt Neely (MPAff '18) — a joint project for UT's Radio-Television-Film advanced documentary class and the CSRD.

Office of Civic Engagement Policy Briefing Series

The LatinX Factor
The Office of Civic Engagement has also partnered with campuswide entities (Center for Mexican American Studies and the UT Hispanic Faculty/Staff Association) to launch an annual Latino summit as part of the commemoration of Hispanic Heritage Month (which was instituted by President Lyndon B. Johnson). The inaugural Latino summit, "The LatinX Factor," focused on understanding the role of identity and its implications for our political and policy landscape. Browse photos from the summit.

Diversity, equity and inclusion-oriented programming at the LBJ School, 2015–20