Rice’s Baker Institute to convene ‘Houston Stronger: A Path to A More Equitable City’ Aug. 31


David Ruth

Jeff Falk

Rice’s Baker Institute to convene ‘Houston Stronger: A Path to A More Equitable City’ Aug. 31

HOUSTON – (Aug. 21, 2018) – Leaders and experts from government, nonprofits and academia will gather at BakerRipley’s Ripley House Aug. 31 for a public forum convened by Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy to build community consensus around the need for a more equitable Houston.

Credit: 123RF.com/Rice University

The event, which is co-sponsored by the Baker Institute’s Center for Health and Biosciences and the Office of Harris County Commissioner Rodney Ellis, will explore potential policy, programmatic and investment solutions to Houston’s most pressing inequities. It will also highlight the implications of ongoing Hurricane Harvey recovery efforts as the city marks the one-year anniversary of the storm. The forum is free and open to the public; visit https://www.bakerinstitute.org/events/1942 to register.

Who: Sylvester Turner, mayor of Houston, will offer introductory remarks.

Michael Lindsey, the Constance and Martin Silver Professor of Poverty Studies and executive director of the McSilver Institute for Poverty Policy and Research at New York University’s Silver School of Social Work, will deliver the keynote address.

Panelists will be Elsa Caballero, president of Service Employees International Union (SEIU) of Texas; Dr. Quianta Moore, fellow in child health policy at the Center for Health and Biosciences; Juliet Stipeche, director of Turner’s office of education; Shao-Chee Sim, vice president for applied research at the Episcopal Health Foundation; Mayra Bontemps, assistant director for recovery and public services in the city of Houston’s Housing and Community Development Department; Bakeyah Nelson, executive director of Air Alliance Houston; and Chrishelle Palay, co-director of the Texas Low Income Housing Information Service.

Ginny Goldman, an independent strategist who served as chair of the Houston Mayor’s Task Force on Equity, which completed its work in fall 2017, will conclude the event by outlining actionable next steps.

What: A public forum titled “Houston Stronger: A Path to A More Equitable City.”

When: Friday, Aug. 31, 8:30-11:30 a.m. Breakfast and registration will begin at 8.

Where: Ripley House, 4410 Navigation Blvd.   

Cities across the country are facing growing social and economic inequality and Houston is no exception, according to event organizers. Despite Houston’s strong economic expansion, income inequality has sharply increased over the past 30 years, while worker wages have remained nearly stagnant. Inadequate opportunities and a widening economic divide combine with racial and ethnic discrimination to place a particular burden on communities of color, preventing them from enjoying a full opportunity to share in Houston’s success, organizers said.

Cities are safer, healthier and more economically vibrant when everyone has a chance to share in prosperity, organizers said, and maximizing economic mobility and opportunity will only make Houston stronger.

Members of the news media who want to attend should RSVP to Jeff Falk, associate director of national media relations at Rice, at jfalk@rice.edu or 713-348-6775.


Follow the Baker Institute via Twitter @BakerInstitute.

Follow the Center for Health and Biosciences via Twitter @BakerCHB.

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Founded in 1993, Rice University’s Baker Institute ranks among the top three university-affiliated think tanks in the world. As a premier nonpartisan think tank, the institute conducts research on domestic and foreign policy issues with the goal of bridging the gap between the theory and practice of public policy. The institute’s strong track record of achievement reflects the work of its endowed fellows, Rice University faculty scholars and staff, coupled with its outreach to the Rice student body through fellow-taught classes — including a public policy course — and student leadership and internship programs. Learn more about the institute at www.bakerinstitute.org or on the institute’s blog, http://blogs.chron.com/bakerblog.

About Jeff Falk

Jeff Falk is director of national media relations in Rice University's Office of Public Affairs.