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LBJ events

July 16, 2020

U.S. Election Security in the Shadow of COVID-19

Elections are regarded as a reflection of the strength and qualities of a country's democracy. The 2016 election revealed deep flaws in the U.S. voting process. Election security was a national security concern in 2020 even before the global COVID-19 pandemic put the logistics of an election into question. What is the status of the critical infrastructure that underpins fair and open voting? Can we ensure a voting process that upholds confidence in American democracy? LaShawn Warren, EVP of government affairs at The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, joined Lawrence Norden, director of the Election Reform Program at the Brennan Center for Justice, and LBJ's Victoria DeFrancesco Soto.

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Graphic: LBJ In the Arena, with UT
July 1, 2020

American While Black — Reaching the Policy Tipping Point

Dr. Niambi Carter, associate professor at Howard University, joined us to talk about institutional racism in this country both historically and today. Her recent book, "American While Black: African Americans, Immigration, and the Limits of Citizenship," is a timely analysis of how racial black identity, American heritage and notions of citizenship shape our contemporary political and policy landscape. In this moderated conversation with the LBJ School's Dr. Victoria DeFrancesco Soto, she discussed how public policies such as the "war on drugs" have entrenched inequitable systems and what policy change is necessary for Black Americans to not just survive but thrive in the United States.

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Graphic: LBJ In the Arena, with UT
News June 25, 2020

LBJ School launches summer series 'LBJ In the Arena: Building on the Civil and Voting Rights Legacy of LBJ'

The Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs at The University of Texas at Austin will launch its summer series "LBJ In the Arena: Building on the Civil and Voting Rights Legacy of LBJ" on July 1. The virtual sessions will focus on topics including systemic racism, policing reform and fair elections, and will take place biweekly on Wednesdays via Zoom through Aug. 25. The series comes on the heels of the "LBJ In the Arena" spring series, which focused on the COVID-19 pandemic and featured policymakers, practitioners, scholars and creative thinkers leading coronavirus response and recovery.

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LBJ In the Arena banner
News June 10, 2020

Meet the inaugural class of the LBJ Women's Campaign School

This first class is comprised of 50 women leaders from eight states — doctors, nurses, entrepreneurs, teachers, lawyers, community activists and veterans who seek to serve their community in the political arena.

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The inaugural class of the LBJ Women's Campaign School (2020)
News June 4, 2020

CSRD presents a community conversation on justice and equity in a time of national racial crisis

On June 3, the Center for the Study of Race and Democracy presented "Justice and Equity in a Time of National Crisis" — a community conversation featuring Austin Mayor Steve Adler, Austin City Council Member Alison Alter and Austin City Council Member Natasha Harper-Madison, and moderated by LBJ Professors Peniel Joseph and Jeremi Suri. Nearly 1,000 people attended the online session discussing racial injustice in America, the protests in 75 cities sparked by the killing of George Floyd by police in Minneapolis on May 26, and the history of race in the United States that is the root cause of the civil unrest. WATCH THE SESSION.

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Justice and Equity in a Time of National Racial Crisis — a community conversation presented by CSRD
News June 1, 2020

LBJ Dean Angela Evans: 'We have to open our eyes and hearts to stand together.'

"America's failures and flaws are undeniably being laid bare," writes LBJ School Dean Angela Evans. "There is no excuse for the loss of over 100,000 Americans to a virus. There is no excuse for another unarmed black man dying on our streets at the hand of a police officer. There is no excuse for millions of our fellow Americans having to struggle to eat and secure shelter. We must step up. Righteous indignation is not enough. Only when we get into the game — into the arena — when we stop blame and commit to working on these problems with open minds and hearts can things get better."

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LBJ School Dean Angela Evans
Feature May 22, 2020

The Graduating Class of 2020: Tahar Hichri (MGPS '20)

"I learned several frameworks at LBJ, but most importantly I earned a valuable network of friends who are passionate and expert about several topics ranging from international energy policy to food aid in the developing world," said LBJ student Tahar Hichri (MGPS '20). "The LBJ experience goes beyond class. It's an international community of policy wonks that I feel proud to be part of!"

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LBJ student Tahar Hichri (MGPS '20)
Feature May 22, 2020

LBJ's 49th commencement celebrates the Class of 2020

On Saturday, May 23, 2020, the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs proudly sent its 49th cohort out into the arena. WATCH: Dean Angela Evans's words of encouragement and inspiration; reflections by class speaker Mohamed Abufalgha (MGPS '20) on his experiences and his hopes for the future; and commencement speaker Colin Crowell, Twitter's former VP of global public policy and philanthropy, on life in policy and business.

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Scenes from the socially distanced LBJ School 2020 commencement
Feature May 21, 2020

The Graduating Class of 2020: Brandon Podojil (MPAff)

"Dive in head first," said LBJ student Brandon Podojil (MPAff '20) in advice to incoming students. "LBJ offers so many great opportunities for learning, networking, and growth. Push your limits, tackle challenges that make you uncomfortable, speak up in class, and say 'yes' to as many unique experiences you can! Grad school is a once-in-a-lifetime chance to pursue your passions, expand your perspective and grow."

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Feature May 20, 2020

The Graduating Class of 2020: Charlotte Gorman (MGPS)

"Being able to chat with faculty about their professional experiences in public service has been so fascinating," said MGPS student Charlotte Gorman. "I've taken classes with the former chair of the National Intelligence Council (Ambassador Hutchings) and former director for Cybersecurity on the National Security Council (Eric Greenwald). The two economics professors I had, Sheila Olmstead and James Galbraith, completely changed my view of that discipline for the better."

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LBJ MGPS student Charlotte Gorman during the 2020 Crisis Simulation