Austin Social Justice Upcoming Events

Tuesday, September 6 – 7pm

Highland Park Baptist Church – 5206 Balcones Drive

The Interfaith Environmental Network of Austin – Monthly Symposium

Friday, September 10 – 1pm

Howson Library, 2500 Exposition, Austin, 78703

Dick Lavine speaking on “Are Texans Overtaxed?”

Dick Lavine, a senior fiscal analyst with the Center for Public Policy Priorities, focuses on Texas tax and revenue issues. Before coming to the center, he was a Senior Researcher at the House Research Organization of the Texas House of Representatives.

The talk is sponsored by the Coffee Party in Austin.

Tuesday, September 13 -7pm

Monkey Wrench Books, 110 E. North Loop, Austin, 78751

Education, Inc: A Conversation with the Texas Observer’s Abby Rapoport

Texas Observer political reporter Abby Rapoport will explain how the education reform movement has come to dominate policy, as more and more education dollars find their way into corporations. There are contracts for testing, tutoring, textbooks, and even teacher certification. With rise of virtual schools, private companies now can actually run an entire school, using public money to fund an almost entirely private enterprise. As private companies and ideological advocates push for the same goals, we now face what looks like an education-industrial complex. Rapoport blogs at on the Texas Observer web site.

Friday, September 23

Michelle Alexander, Associate Professor of Law at The Ohio State University, and author of The New Jim Crow, Mass Incarceration in an Age of Colorblindness, will be speaking in Austin. She is sponsored by University UMC & Methodist Women, NAACP, Wesley United Methodist, Center for African American Studies/non-violence project at UT, and other groups. There are two events, both on Friday, September 23.

2:00 pm at University UMC – A coffee with Professor Alexander and local clergy and others. She will speak briefly, and there may be a panel discussion.

7:00 pm at Wesley United Methodist – Professor Alexander will talk about her book and relevant topics about incarceration. This book argues that the sudden and dramatic mass incarceration of African American men has created a racial under caste that subjects them to legalized discrimination, scorn and social exclusion.

Saturday, October 1 – 8:30am – 4:00pm

Be the Change National Day of Service

Texas State Capitol (South Steps Kickoff); Various Project Sites

On Saturday, October 1st, the people of Austin will once again join together to serve their community as part of the Be the Change National Day of Service. Inspired by Mahatma Gandhi’s famous quotation, “You must be the change you wish to see in the world,” Be the Change takes place every year on or near Gandhi’s October 2nd birthday. Started at the University of Michigan eleven years ago, Be the Change has grown into a volunteer and leadership development program that attracts thousands of volunteers across the country. In 2010, nearly 3,500 volunteers participated in fifteen cities and on over sixty college campuses nationwide.

Be the Change is coordinated nationally by South Asian Americans Leading Together (SAALT), a national non-profit organization dedicated to building a more just and inclusive society. Taking place for the third year in Austin, the Be the Change Day of Service is organized by a diverse coalition of community groups and individuals throughout Central Texas.

Friday October 21 and Saturday October 22

Dr. Joerg Rieger, Wendland-Cook Endowed Professor of Constructive Theology at Perkins School of Theology in Dallas, and recent speaker at our chapter’s luncheon in Corpus Christi, will be speaking at St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church in Wells Branch.

Sunday, October 30, 1:00pm

First UMC Family Life Center, (northwest corner of 13th & Lavaca)

On October 30th at 1pm, First United Methodist Church in downtown Austin will host the Texas Premiere of a documentary titled Incompatible with Christian Teaching.  It will be screened by the film maker, Anne P. Brown and there will be an opportunity to ask Anne questions after the screening.  Snacks will be provided.  After seeing this film in Washington, DC, Liza Chigos, a St. John’s UMC member, helped bring this film to Texas in order to share it with the Methodist community here. Liza says, “This film explores the efforts of Methodists to remove exclusionary language from the Book of Discipline and to allow full inclusion of Gay/Lesbian/Bisexual/ Transgender people into the clergy and into the life of the church.”

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