The Barbara Jordan Forum is designed to highlight Barbara Jordan’s lifetime of significant contributions to society as a politician, policymaker, activist and educator. Jordan joined the LBJ School of Public Affairs in 1979 as a faculty member and remained a beloved teacher and mentor until her death in 1996. That same year, students created a forum in her honor.

The theme for this year’s Forum week, chosen by students, is “Inclusion and Compromise in Democracy: The Imperative is to Define What is Right and Do It.” The theme is based on a quote by Barbara Jordan and is taken from her remarks at “The Great Society: A Twenty Year Critique,” a symposium held by the LBJ Presidential Library and the LBJ School in 1985.

In addition to the keynote event featuring leading civil rights attorney, activist, scholar Lani Guinier on Feb. 19 students have planned lunchtime brown bag talks beginning Feb. 18 that invite members of the community to discuss policy issues championed by Jordan. Each speaker will also provide a call to action, offering ideas on how to enact real change in these areas. The week will conclude with a service project for LBJ School students at the Barbara Jordan Elementary School in Austin, Texas.


18th Annual Barbara Jordan Forum Agenda:

Tuesday, Feb 18 - 12:00 PM, SRH 3.122

PAACC and the Barbara Jordan Forum Present "Raising the Minimum Wage: An Effective Anti-Poverty Policy?"

Description: The federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour has not kept pace with inflation and is a growing concern as income inequality in the United States continues to increase. Would raising the minimum wage be an effective anti-poverty policy? What are the economic implications for those most affected by minimum wage jobs and for municipalities setting their own minimum wage rates? Join experts in social policy, economics, and politics for a discussion about minimum wage increases as a strategy to help working Americans at the bottom of the economic ladder.

Panelists include:

  • Professor Shirley Franklin (political feasibility perspective)
  • Don Baylor - Center for Public Policy Priorities (anti-poverty policy perspective)
  • Dr. Shetal Vohra-Gupta - UT Institute for Urban Policy Research and Analysis (disproportionate effect of the current minimum wage on ethnic minorities and women)

"We must have an economy that does not force that migrant worker's child to miss school for a full day so that she can work at less than the minimum wage -- and doing that the family can still only afford one meal a day. That is the moral bankruptcy of trickle-down economics. Change. Change. Change. We can change the direction of America's economic engine and become competitive again. We can make that change and become proud of the country that we are." --Barbara Jordan, 1992 Democratic National Convention Keynote Address

Register here


Wednesday, Feb 19- 12:00 PM, LBJ School First Floor Lobby

2014 Barbara Jordan Keynote Luncheon Featuring Leading Civil Rights Attorney, Activist, Scholar Lani Guinier

The luncheon is free and open to the public but registration is required. To register visit: The event will take place in the First Floor Lobby of the LBJ School of Public Affairs on the UT Austin campus at 2315 Red River St.


Thursday, Feb 20 - 12:00 PM, SRH 3.124

The Harvey Milk Society Invites You to Disability Inclusion Training

The Texas Center for Disability Studies engages in a variety of system and individual interventions to promote the independence, productivity, integration, and inclusion of individuals with developmental disabilities and their families.

Disability Studies is a relatively new, interdisciplinary field focused on the social and cultural context of disability. This field considers disability as a social minority group with an emphasis on the way in which disability is constructed culturally, politically, and economically, rather than the traditional emphasis on the physiology of impairment.

By working with professionals, para-professionals, policy-makers, students, and other members of the community, the TCDS works to provide services, supports, and assistance for people with disabilities and their families to promote their independence, productivity, integration, and inclusion."

Quote from Barbara Jordan: "One thing is clear to me: We, as human beings, must be willing to accept people who are different from ourselves."


Friday, Feb 21 9:00 AM - 11:00 AM, Barbara Jordan Elementary School 

Honoring the Legacy of Barbara Jordan Through Service 

Barbara Jordan Early College Prep provides an opportunity to honor Barbara Jordan's legacy as a teacher by reading to PreK -2nd grade students. The school will also host an assembly program for 3rd-5th grade students, parents, and teachers to reflect on the life of Barbara Jordan and her many accomplishments. The program will feature Shirley Franklin, the Barbara Jordan Visiting Professor of Ethics and Political Values, as the guest speaker.