Working tirelessly for local arts, education, healthcare, and social service organizations, the late Annette Strauss was inspired by her father’s motto: “What I have is what I’ve given away.” Her legacy shines far past Dallas. In her lifetime, Annette Strauss led legions of Texans to become more involved in the political process. The Institute continues her quest to give the public a voice with their votes. One among its many programs is the provision of civic education projects in underprivileged high schools to help raise teen awareness of local politics.
In addition, the non-partisan New Politics Forum (NPF) has encouraged a new generation of Texans to work on election campaigns. For each of its youth programs – including NPF, Student Voices, the American Trustees Project, and Speak Up! Speak Out! – the Institute has developed exceptional curriculum to support social science educators. The Institute conducts extensive civic participation studies to guide well-researched and effective programming. Students at UT Austin have been directly engaged by its efforts. The Theodore H. Strauss Civic Internship Awards subsidize accomplished social science undergraduates. With Strauss’ mission as a guide, voter disenfranchisement, apathy, and cynicism are giving way to action.
Ã¢Â?Â¢ 1983 – Annette Strauss elected to Dallas City Council
Ã¢Â?Â¢ 1986 – Helps found homeless family shelter Family Gateway
Ã¢Â?Â¢ 1987 – Elected mayor of Dallas after forty years of volunteer work and community activism
Ã¢Â?Â¢ 1991 – Appointed “Ambassador-at-Large” to the city of Dallas
Ã¢Â?Â¢ 1993 – Inducted into the Texas Women’s Hall of Fame
Ã¢Â?Â¢ 1996 – Honored with the first annual Annette G. Strauss Humanitarian Award
Ã¢Â?Â¢ 1997 – Annette Strauss Dallas International Series established at Southern Methodist University Tower Center for Political Studies
Ã¢Â?Â¢ 2000 – Dr. Hart founds The Annette Strauss Institute for Civic Participation, which honors her humanitarian efforts and philanthropy
Dr. Roderick P. Hart, dean of the College of Communications at the University of Texas at Austin, founded The Annette Strauss Institute for Civic Participation. An expert in politics and mass media, Professor Hart says the mission is simply to “to create more voters and better citizens.”