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It’s about a month from the start of the 2021 Texas Tribune Festival, and we can finally tell you everything we have planned. Today’s release of our program is so exciting. We love the mix of one-on-one interviews and panel discussions, and we’re sure you will, too. We’re especially proud of the range of speakers, a mix of the familiar and the unexpected from Texas and around the country. More than 170 big names will participate in our virtual ideas conference — now in its 11th year and still drawing big crowds and generous sponsors who support our nonprofit newsroom.
This year’s TribFest is six days: Monday, Sept. 20, to Saturday, Sept. 25. With more than 60 sessions planned, simple math says we’re giving you a whopping 10 things or more to enjoy per day. You’ll have a first-of-the-day and a last-of-the-day keynote conversation on each of the days, and in between there will be concurrent programs to choose from. (Don’t worry if you miss any: All will be available on demand for later viewing.) We’ll be talking politics and policy in roughly equal measure — everything from a look back at the last election cycle and the never-ending 2021 legislative session to a look ahead to 2022 and 2024, from the economy to criminal justice, from the border to the grid, and of course, plenty on public health and the coronavirus pandemic: how we got here, where we are and where we’re going.
There’s literally something for everyone. Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones on Texas targeting her work. Superstar ex-athletes Chris Bosh and Andy Roddick on sports as politics and politics as sports. U.S. Reps. Colin Allred, D-Dallas, and Van Taylor, R-Plano, on finding common ground. Tech giant Michael Dell on doing well by doing good. U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minnesota, on why breaking up monopolies makes America stronger. Speaker of the Texas House Dade Phelan, R-Beaumont, on the biggest issues affecting our state’s future. Ambassador Samantha Power, the administrator of the United States Agency for International Development, on the economic, humanitarian and geopolitical challenges we face around the globe. Superintendents on public education after COVID-19. Presidents of historically Black colleges and universities on race and higher education. Big-city mayors on local control. Climate experts on the winter storm.
We’ve also added a few more marquee speakers to our lineup — including U.S. Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas; Associate Attorney General of the United States Vanita Gupta; Baylor University President Linda Livingstone; U.S. Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg; state Rep. Chris Paddie, R-Marshall, the chair of the State Affairs Committee in the Texas House; Voto Latino President and CEO María Teresa Kumar; Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins; and Dallas Morning News Executive Editor Katrice Hardy.
In the coming weeks, we’ll be announcing a few more big-name speakers; details on our special additional sessions for students, Texas Tribune members and VIPs; and film screenings. We’ll also be announcing details regarding our much-loved Franklin Barbecue experience for VIPs. Stay tuned.
You won’t want to miss any of it. See the schedule here. Browse our speakers here. And get your tickets here. We’ve always said that a better-informed Texas is a better Texas. Join us to help make that a reality.
Disclosure: Baylor University has been a financial supporter of The Texas Tribune, a nonprofit, nonpartisan news organization that is funded in part by donations from members, foundations and corporate sponsors. Financial supporters play no role in the Tribune's journalism. Find a complete list of them here.