Due to damage and repairs required as a result of Hurricane Beryl, the Rothko Chapel is closed indefinitely; the Welcome House will open 11am-5pm Tuesday to Sunday. Please continue to check our website for updates related to opening hours as we will update as more information becomes available. 

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2022 Virtual Symposium | Beyond the Rhetoric: Civil Rights & Our Shared Responsibility

In conjunction with the Chapel’s 50th Anniversary and commitment to furthering social justice nationally and internationally, the two-part Symposium “Beyond the Rhetoric: Civil Rights & Our Shared Responsibility” examines different understandings of and approaches to furthering human rights and civil liberties in the United States.  

The opening lecture series took place in summer and fall 2021, providing a suite of virtual programs featuring keynote speakers and panelists who shared both the historical contexts and contemporary conditions for understanding some of the critical civil and human rights issues of today, including voting rights, economic justice, LGTBQ+ rights, American Indian rights, and the rights of immigrants.

The conversation continues with a two-day virtual symposium March 31 & April 1, 2022, allowing further engagement with seasoned and emerging social justice leaders to explore critical intersecting civil and human rights issues, as well as how individuals, grassroots initiatives, and policy makers can work together to create a more equitable future for all.

Sessions will include panel discussions, presentations and interactive conversations exploring the following topics:
Freedom of Speech and Expression
Civil Rights & Public Health During the COVID Era
Policing, Criminal Justice & the Prison Industrial Complex
Activism, Spirituality and Sustaining the Spirit
Voting Rights & Redistricting
Movement Building and Organizing for Change


Speakers include:
Michelle Alexander, Civil rights lawyer, advocate, legal scholar and author of The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness
Derecka Purnell, Human rights lawyer, writer, organizer and author of Becoming Abolitionists: Police, Protests, and the Pursuit of Freedom
Marshall Ganz, Senior Lecturer in Leadership, Organizing and Civil Society at the Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University
Katy Atkiss, Principal, Impetus Houston
Suzanne Benally, Executive Director, Swift Foundation
Keri Blakinger, Reporter, The Marshall Project
Ashley Clemmer, Director of Programs & Community Engagement, Rothko Chapel
Joe Cohn, Legislative & Policy Director, Foundation for Individual Rights in Education
Omar El-Halwagi, Co-Founder, Grassroot Islam
Sean Fitzpatrick, Executive Director, Jung Center Houston
José Garza, Travis County District Attorney
Avalon Hogans, Houston Youth Poet Laureate
Christopher Hollins, Former County Clerk of Harris County, Principal Attorney, Hollins Law Group PLLC
Jay Jenkins, Harris County Project Attorney, Texas Center for Justice & Equity
David Leslie, Executive Director, Rothko Chapel
Greisa Martinez Rosas, Executive Director, United We Dream
Mimi Marziani, President, Texas Civil Rights Project
Svetlana Mintcheva, Consultant, National Coaltion Against Censorship
Chrishelle Palay, Director, Houston Organizing Movement for Equity (HOME) Coalition
Larry Payne, Producer & Host of Dialogue Houston, HCC-TV
Nina Perales, Vice President of Litigation, Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (MALDEF)
Michael Powell, Reporter, The New York Times
Juanita Rasmus, Pastor, St. John's United Methodist Church
Matthew Russell, Co-Managing Director, projectCurate; Co-Executive Pastor, Chapelwood United Methodist Church; Co-founder & Executive Director, Iconoclast Artists; Assistant Professor of Recovery Ministry, Fuller Theological Seminary
Dr. Umair Shah, Secretary of Health, Washington State Department of Health
Nabiha Syed, President, The Markup
Caron Tabb, artist
Krystal Two Bulls, Director of LANDBACK Campaign, NDN Collective
John Vaughn, Executive Pastor, Ebenezer Baptist Church
Randi Weingarten, President, American Federation of Teachers (AFL-CIO)
Thanu Yakupitiyage, US Communications-Digital Director, 350.org


Thank you to our Underwriters & Sponsors


Additional underwriting support for the Rothko Chapel's 2021-2022 Program Season was provided by Gayle and Mike DeGeurin, Cristy and Michael Jadick, C.C. Lee, Sonja Earthman Novo, Christina and Troy Porter, Elsa Ross, Robin and Andrew Schirrmeister, and Sarita Tennant.

Thank you to our Promotional Partners
Houston Coalition Against Hate, Compassionate Houston, Jung Center Houston, projectCurateChapelwood United Methodist ChurchEbenezer Baptist Church, Covenant Church, Houston in Action, Texas Civil Rights Project, Texas Center for Justice & Equity, HOME Coalition, American Federation of Teachers, Washington State Department of HealthNational Coalition Against Censorship, Travis County District Attorney's Office, Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF), 350.org

Thursday, March 31, 2022
3:00 PM