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Confronting Inequality: Alternative Economies, Resilient Communities

Has the American Dream disappeared?

Income inequality affects almost all Americans and threatens the fabric of our democracy. Inequality raises considerable ethical questions about our interconnectedness and obligation to one another. In response to this crisis, innovative alternative economies are emerging locally, nationally, and globally. These have the potential to create a more economically, politically, environmentally, and socially sustainable and resilient world.

This symposium explores emerging models in depth, incorporating voices from the arts, spirituality, and human rights sectors. What they share are creative, effective responses to challenging inequality and creating a more just world. 

Join the conversation at the Rothko Chapel starting Thursday, March 31st at 7 PM with keynote speaker Terry Tempest Williams, author, conservationist, and activist.

Delve further into this conversation with spiritual leaders, academics, activists, and artists at discussions from Friday, April 1st through Sunday, April 3rd. A contemplative practice from the Bon-Buddhist tradition will be led by Geshe Denma Gyaltsen, Resident Teacher at Ligmincha Texas Institute for the Tibetan Meditative and Healing Arts on Friday at 6:30 PM. Available on Saturday from 2–4 PM are Plant it Forward Tours and the Farmers Market at the University of St. Thomas Farm, and at 6:15 PM, a performance by Voices Breaking Boundaries. Join M. NourbeSe Philip on Sunday at 2:30 PM for a poetry reading. There will be food from Cuchara, SweetCup, and Yeti Sunshine, music, a bookstore, and artistic experiences on the grounds Saturday and Sunday beginning at 12 PM. Finally, enjoy the sounds of the Thomas Helton Trio on the plaza Saturday and Sunday from 3 PM–4 PM

Do not miss this opportunity to engage with and contribute to creating change— in our community and beyond.

Thank you to our partners

  • Asia Society
  • Charge
  • DA CAMERA
  • Failure to Identify
  • Plant it Forward
  • Project Row Houses
  • Rice University’s Boniuk Institute
  • River Oaks Bookstore
  • University of Houston’s Community Design Resource Center
  • University of St. Thomas
  • Voices Breaking Boundaries

All programs are free and open to the public with a $10 suggested donation. Please register below. If you wish to register for the entire symposium, click here. Download the symposium brochure here.

Confronting Inequality: Alternative Economies, Resilient Communities Symposium Keynote
Thursday, March 31 2016, 7 PM

Explore emerging alternative economic models in depth.

A Faithful and Moral Response: Spirituality, Community, and Justice
Friday, April 1 2016, 7 PM

Explore emerging alternative economic models in depth, incorporating voices from the arts, spirituality, and human rights sectors.

The Rise of the Green Economy: Environmental Sustainability, Development, and Equity
Saturday, April 2 2016, 4 PM

Explore emerging economic models in depth, incorporating voices from the arts, spirituality, and human rights sectors.

More than Half: Gender in Alternative Economies
Saturday, April 2 2016, 7 PM

Explore emerging economic models in depth, incorporating voices from the arts, spirituality, and human rights sectors.

The Power of the Collective: From the Community to the Boardroom
Sunday, April 3 2016, 4 PM

Explore emerging economic models in depth, incorporating voices from the arts, spirituality, and human rights sectors.

The Art of Equity: A Creative Response
Sunday, April 3 2016, 7 PM

Explore emerging economic models in depth, incorporating voices from the arts, spirituality, and human rights sectors.