Since Thanksgiving is all about going back for seconds, here at the Tribune we thought we'd share some of our best content from our first Tribune Festival held on the campus of The University of Texas at Austin on Sept. 24 and 25.
The festival website is updated with an audio slideshow for each of the panel discussions. Peruse each festival panel listed in the program and watch video albums on our Vimeo site on the each of the subject tracks: keynote addresses, energy and environment, public and higher education, race and immigration, and health and human services.
Below are a few of our suggestions.
For a heated, free-for-all debate, you can't get much better than the "How to Pay for Public Education?" panel. But the most compelling moment for reporter and moderator Reeve Hamilton was University of Texas at El Paso President Diana Natalicio's closing soliloquy on the divide between the haves and the have-nots that came at about the 45-minute mark in our "Can Public Universities Make the Grade?" panel.
Audience members expected fireworks when ousted State Board of Education Chair Don McLeroy, an anti-abortion conservative, asked guest speaker and Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards, "When does life begin?" Instead, they got laughter. Without missing a beat, Richards responded, "At 30." Watch all the way to the end or you'll miss it.
The water panel, moderated by reporter Kate Galbraith, had a lengthy, in-depth discussion on the drought. The panelists noted that Texas is an urban state. When water is still coming out of the tap, people have a hard time understanding the severity of the drought. Even things as simple as taking children fishing, suggested panelist Andrew Sansom of Texas State University-San Marcos, can help create an awareness of water issues.
The audience at the race and immigration panel likely left with the impression that there are two Mexicos after listening to back-to-back presentations by former U.S. Ambassador to Mexico and South Texas native Antonio Garza and Grupo Reforma chief executive officer Alejandro Junco de la Vega. Garza said he feels safe in most parts of Mexico and that the violence is confined to specific areas. In short, he said, Mexico will bounce back. Junco de la Vega presented a much more ominous scenario, and he painted a bleak picture of rampant violence and corruption that he said could eventually lead to Mexico's downfall.