Former Two-Term Mayor of Atlanta Shirley Franklin will deliver the opening keynote address at the 17th Annual Barbara Jordan Forum luncheon on Feb. 19 at 12:15 PM, the kickoff to a week of student led activities honoring former Congresswoman and LBJ School Professor Barbara Jordan.
“We are so very pleased that Mayor Franklin will be delivering this year’s keynote address. As the Barbara Jordan Visiting Professor in Ethics and Political Values, Shirley embodies the spirit, passion and dedication of Barbara Jordan,” said Robert Hutchings, dean of the LBJ School. “As one of the nation’s most respected former mayors, it is fitting that Shirley be the keystone for our celebration of the life and legacy of Barbara Jordan— one of our country’s most distinguished public servants and a cherished member of our LBJ community.”
The Barbara Jordan Forum is designed to highlight 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.
“It is significant that UT students have planned and are hosting this week’s celebration of Barbara Jordan’s contributions since she spent 17 years teaching and motivating young people here to value the principles of equality,” said Franklin. “I am honored to provide remarks because I believe that Barbara Jordan saw the hope of the Republic and the promise of America in the eyes of the students she taught and inspired here and around the world.”
The theme for the week, chosen by students, is “See the Change: Pressing Towards Equality of Outcomes.” The theme is based on a quote by Barbara Jordan and is taken from her historic keynote address to the 1976 Democratic Convention: “We are a people in search of a national community, attempting to fulfill our national purpose, to create and sustain a society in which all of us are equal…We cannot improve on the system of government, handed down to us by the founders of the Republic, but we can find new ways to implement that system and to realize our destiny.”
The luncheon is free and open to the public but registration is required. 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.
“Barbara Jordan was an advocate for equality and possessed a zeal for unifying communities for the good of the nation,” said Garry Davis, one of four student co-chairs organizing the forum. “I am inspired by her authenticity of character and dedication to not only doing what she thought was fair and ethical to all, but also in empowering others to do the same. In honoring her legacy, it is my hope that we can continue in her footsteps of engaging all voices on the issues facing our nation and to remind communities that together we can do more than what we can do apart.”
Following the kick-off event, students have planned daily, lunchtime brown bag talks that invites speakers from the community who speak on 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.
More on Shirley Franklin:
As a visiting professor, Franklin will teach in the areas of ethics and political values, city government, sustainable urban development and the role of women in politics. She will also participate in lectures and dialogues on important public issues and play a leading role in encouraging students from under-represented communities to choose careers in public service. Franklin will also be instrumental in the creation of a new urban management program at the school.
Franklin served as mayor of Atlanta from 2002 to 2010. She was the first woman to hold the post and became the first African American woman to be elected mayor of a major city in the South.
Her public service career began in 1978 when she served as the commissioner of cultural affairs under Atlanta Mayor Maynard Jackson. She was later appointed city manager, becoming the first female chief administrative officer of a major U.S. city. As city manager, Franklin was responsible for nearly 8,000 city employees and guided the development of Hartsfield International Airport, a new city hall, a new municipal court building and thousands of housing units.
In 1991 Franklin joined the Atlanta Committee for the Olympic Games (ACOG), serving as senior vice president for external relations. In this position she was instrumental in the development of the Centennial Olympic Park and served as ACOG’s primary liaison with labor unions, civil rights groups, neighborhood and community organizations, and environmentalists.
Franklin was named Governing magazine’s 2004 Public Official of the Year. In 2005, Time magazine named her one of the top five mayors in the country, and U.S. News and World Report named her one of America’s best leaders. Esquire magazine named her one of the best and brightest, and American City & County magazine named her Municipal Leader of the Year. In 2005 Franklin received the prestigious John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award. In 2006 she was honored with the Southern Institute for Business and Professional Ethics’ Ethics Advocate Award. In 2007 Newsweek magazine named her one of the women to watch in their Women & Power issue.
Franklin also serves as the chairwoman and chief executive officer of Purpose Built Communities and as a member of the board of directors of the National Center for Civil and Human Rights.
When & Where
The LBJ School of Public Affairs
About the LBJ School
Since our founding in 1970, the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas at Austin has built a proud tradition of public service and cutting edge research on the most important public policy challenges of our time. The School's mission is to develop leaders and ideas that will help our state, the nation and the international community address critical public policy challenges in an ever increasingly interconnected and interdependent world. Drawing upon a world-renown, multidisciplinary faculty, a diverse and talented group of masters and Ph.D. students and the resources of the University of Texas at Austin, one of the world's leading research universities, the LBJ School is well-placed to help shape public policy for the 21st century. We are truly at the intersection of knowledge and action.