The Rothko Chapel and Rothko Chapel Welcome House are open 7 days per week between December 20th and January 8th

Beyond the Rhetoric: Civil Rights & Our Shared Responsibility

View the summary report of these programs and experiences, highlighting each of the events presented, key topics to explore and actions to consider in furthering civil rights.

In conjunction with the Chapel’s 50th Anniversary and commitment to furthering social justice nationally and internationally, this two-part event series examined different understandings of and approaches to furthering human rights and civil liberties in the United States.  

The fall 2021 virtual lectures explored both the historical contexts and contemporary conditions surrounding LGBTQIA+ rights, Indigenous perspectives on the concepts of human rights, immigrants’ rights, and economic and racial justice in America. The spring 2022 virtual symposium then examined how individuals, grassroots initiatives, and policy makers can work together to create a more equitable future, and covered the following topics: freedom of speech, the future of civil rights, public health and civil rights, reimagining policing and prisons, sustaining activism, voting rights, and organizing for change.

Series questions included: How have civil rights historically been understood and applied in this country? Who benefits from current civil rights, and who has been left out? Which civil rights and liberties are particularly at-risk today? How can we become more effective advocates and activists as we work to address injustice and create an equitable society? How can we rethink our approaches to the concept of rights, responsibilities, and civil liberties? And how can we sustain our passion for social justice and long-haul activism?

Undewriting Support for the Rothko Chapel's 2021-2022 Program Season was provided by Gayle and Mike DeGeurin, Cristy and Michael Jadick, C.C. Lee, Sonja Earthman Novo, Christina and Troy Porter, Elsa Ross, Robin and Andrew Schirrmeister, and Sarita Tennant. Thank you for your support!

Movement Building & Organizing for Change | 2022 Virtual Symposium
Friday, April 1 2022, 3 PM

Marshall Ganz joins leaders in the Indigenous, climate justice, and immigration movements, for a conversation around effective organizing strategies.

A Threat to All: Redistricting, Gerrymandering & the Attack on Voting Rights | 2022 Virtual Symposium
Friday, April 1 2022, 1 PM

Looking toward the 2022 and 2024 elections, advocates at the local, state, and national levels, this panel discusses the challenges and opportunities before us.

Activism & Spirituality: Sustaining the Activist Spirit | 2022 Virtual Symposium
Friday, April 1 2022, 12 PM

Members of the Rothko Chapel Spirituality and Social Justice Cohort funded by the Henry Luce Foundation will facilitate small group breakout sessions.

Reimagining Systems: Policing, Criminal Justice & the Prison Industrial Complex | 2022 Virtual Symposium
Friday, April 1 2022, 11 AM

Derecka Purnell will share visions for ending police and prison violence, followed by a moderated panel discussion.

Dignity, Equity & Access in the COVID Era | 2022 Virtual Symposium
Friday, April 1 2022, 8 AM

This multi-sector panel explores inequities and endemic challenges related to access to healthcare, nutrition, affordable housing and living wage jobs.

Where are we heading? The Future of Civil Rights in the US | 2022 Virtual Symposium
Thursday, March 31 2022, 6 PM

Michelle Alexander shares reflections on the state of US civil rights in conversation with local Houston community leader Larry Payne as part of the virtual symposium "Beyond the Rhetoric: Civil Rights & Our Shared Responsibility."

Freedom of Speech & Expression in Journalism, Education & the Arts | 2022 Virtual Symposium
Thursday, March 31 2022, 3 PM

This panel explores current issues impacting and curtailing the freedom of expression in the US.

Defending & Advancing the Rights of Immigrants
Wednesday, October 13 2021, 6 PM

Charles Kamasaki, Senior Cabinet Advisor of UnidosUS and Sister Norma Pimentel, Executive Director of Catholic Charities Rio Grande Valley discussed immigrants' rights in the US and Texas.

American Indian Worldview and the Concept of Rights
Thursday, September 30 2021, 6 PM

Tink Tinker and Dina Gilio-Whitaker engaged in dialogue moderated by Suzanne Benally exploring the concept of rights for the American Indian people.

The Struggle for Equality: LGBTQIA+ Rights
Wednesday, September 8 2021, 6 PM

JoDee Winterhof, Senior Vice President for Policy and Political Affairs at Human Rights Campaign & Adri Perez, Policy & Advocacy Strategist for the ACLU of Texas discussed the state of LGBTQIA+ rights in the US and Texas.

Our Moral Obligation: Ensuring the Dignity of All
Thursday, July 22 2021, 6 PM

Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II, President & Senior Lecturer of Repairers of the Breach and Co-Chair of the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call For Moral Revival, addressed his perspective on US civil rights through a moral and faith-based lens.