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    4th Annual Juneteenth Freedom Summit: The Democratic Renewal


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    Event description

    The Center for the Study of Race and Democracy at The University of Texas at Austin invites you to our 4th Annual Juneteenth Freedom Summit: The Democratic Renewal. This event honors Juneteenth by welcoming esteemed thought leaders, NAACP President Gary Bledsoe, and KUNGFU.A Co-Founder, Stephen Straus, for an in-depth discussion on the critical role of open dialogue in fostering progress.

    Guided by Dr. Peniel Joseph, the distinguished Director of CSRD and professor at the LBJ School of Public Affairs, this summit will bring together activists, scholars, and the Austin community to explore the intersections of free speech and societal change. We will delve into the rich history of Juneteenth, the current political landscape, and the future steps needed to build a fair society.

    Join us for an inspiring event that emphasizes the importance of truth and dialogue in safeguarding democracy.

    About the Speakers:



    Texas State NAACP President and University of Texas School of Law Alum, Gary Bledsoe, is a distinguished Austin attorney specializing in public interest, employment, and civil rights law, serving as both Texas State NAACP President and Chair of the National Criminal Justice Committee. With NAACP board membership since 2003, his commitment to advocacy has garnered him numerous "Lawyer of the Year" awards from prestigious bodies like the Texas Attorney General and NAACP chapters in Austin and nationally. Bledsoe's efforts extend beyond accolades, driving systemic change in areas like law enforcement diversity and educational access. His dedication epitomizes a commitment to advancing both individual rights and broader community welfare.


    Stephen Straus, the co-founder of KUNGFU.A, Impact Dyslexia, and The Startup Diversity and Inclusion Pledge, is a distinguished serial entrepreneur, and former venture capitalist. A graduate of Colgate University with an MBA from Harvard Business School, he is also on the Engineering Advisory Board of the Cockrell School of Engineering at the University of Texas. His commitment to community service includes previous roles on the boards of the Austin Film Society and Sustainable Food Center. Stephen considers himself a proactive social entrepreneur and is dedicated to helping create a positive and just future.


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