Great Conversations Program


About Great Conversations

The Annette Strauss Institute for Civic Life invites you to join us for Great Conversations on March 21, 2024.

The event will be held at the Shirley Bird Perry Ballroom in the Texas Union on The University of Texas at Austin campus.

Great Conversations is the Annette Strauss Institute’s signature, annual fundraising event to benefit our education, outreach, and research programs. At the event, we celebrate a commitment to civic involvement with special recognitions, the presentation of the Shirley Bird Perry Longhorn Citizenship Award, the inaugural presentation of the Corporate Citizenship Award, and table conversations led by prominent statewide and community leaders. 

Over the years, Great Conversations has become an annual convening of elected officials and staff, community and student leaders, university faculty and administrators, and members of the press.

Students who attended last year had the following to say:

"As a student, I've never been to an event where I felt more like I could make a difference than when I was at Great Conversations. Meeting all those great civic leaders, politicians, and media figures was surreal and afterwards I felt like I had a better understanding of how they viewed their impact on their communities. Knowing that makes me more confident in how I go forward and try to change my community for the better. I can't think of any other event where I could have had the same opportunities to meet and learn from such amazing leaders." - Hamaad Muhammed Najam

"Great Conversations is a super rewarding way to give back to the Annette Strauss Institute and support their fundraising for amazing programs like the New Politics Forum! It gives you a chance to connect with the greater civic ecosystem that supports ASI and is eager to connect with young civic leaders. From being the starting point to valuable relationships to leaders in the civic space to connecting a diverse community of young leaders this event is a remarkable opportunity. I spent my year as a Texas Civic Ambassador online due to COVID-19 and Great Conversations allowed me to meet other Texas Civic Ambassadors for the first time and reconnect a year on from the program. It was empowering to bring my perspective to the table at this event and employ the power of my own story in these discussions about the future of Texas with stakeholders from many different backgrounds." - Sarah Batson