community involvement

Dallas Police Chief David Brown receives SMU’s 2017 J. Erik Jonsson Ethics Award

“I’m [here] because of J. Erik Jonsson”: Retired Dallas Police Chief David O. Brown shared a personal story of how the iconic Dallas mayor impacted his family’s lives as he accepted the Jonsson Ethics Award from SMU’s Maguire Center for Ethics and Public Responsibility March 21, 2017.

A version of this story was originally posted Wednesday, Sept. 28, 2016, and updated Monday, March 20, 2017.

Retired Dallas Chief of Police David O. Brown, who in July 2016 helped lead the city through the anguished days following the ambush shooting deaths of five police officers, received the 2017 J. Erik Jonsson Ethics Award from SMU’s Cary M. Maguire Center for Ethics and Public Responsibility at a luncheon on March 21, 2017, at the Belo Mansion.

“Chief David Brown has demonstrated by his words and his actions all of the leadership qualities we had in mind when the J. Erik Jonsson Ethics Award was created,” said Bobby Lyle, SMU trustee and Maguire Ethics Center board member. “He has led our community with courage and integrity during our brightest days and our darkest hours. He has set standards for public and community service that we would all do well to emulate. I can think of no one more deserving of this prestigious award that bears the name of one of Dallas’ most admired leaders.”

Brown, a Dallas native who was born and raised in South Oak Cliff, is a 33-year veteran of the Dallas Police Department and the department’s longest-serving chief in modern times. He was sworn in as Dallas’ 28th police chief in May 2010, commanding a department with more than 4,000 employees and an annual operating budget of $426 million dollars. Brown has announced he will retire Oct. 4, 2016.

Building and maintaining strong, transparent relationships with the community has been Brown’s focus since he took the top position. During his tenure, Brown transitioned the department to a community-policing focused organization and implemented policies and training to ensure citizen and officer safety. He also expanded several community outreach programs and youth centered programs.

Brown implemented policies and training to ensure citizen and officer safety during interactions, and emphasized the importance of de-escalation training for his officers. Under Brown’s leadership, the Dallas Police Department reduced the use of deadly force by more than 40 percent and reduced excessive force complaints by more than 80 percent.

“This award recognizes those who face hard decisions and whose mettle is tested,” said Rita Kirk, Maguire Center director. “Chief Brown personifies the struggle of leaders trying to do the right thing during periods of intense pressure. Our community is stronger because of his leadership, particularly in the wake of recent events. His actions during those days not only reflected the character of our community to other cities around the world who watched, but also left us united, stronger, and more hopeful that we will overcome any obstacle to make this a better city for all our citizens.”

Brown is the 20th recipient of the J. Erik Jonsson Ethics Award. Past honorees include Terry J. Flowers, Lyda Hill, Gail Griffin Thomas, Nancy Ann & Ray Hunt, Walter J. Humann, Ruth S. Altshuler, Bob Buford, Ronald G. Steinhart, Michael M. Boone, Zan W. Holmes Jr., Roger Staubach, Caren Prothro, Tom Luce, Ron Anderson, Jack Lowe Jr., William T. Solomon, Stanley H. Marcus, Charles C. Sprague and Curtis W. Meadows Jr.

— Kenny Ryan

2017-03-23T13:10:23+00:00 March 23, 2017|Calendar Highlights, News, Tune In|

Tune In: 15 unforgettable photos from The Tempest by SMU Meadows / Ignite Arts Dallas

 

The Tempest, Public Works Dallas

SMU’s Meadows School of the Arts has chosen the best photos from William Shakespeare’s The Tempest as reimagined by a Meadows Prize winner.

Dallas Theater Center and SMU Meadows / Ignite Arts Dallas, in association with the AT&T Performing Arts Center, presented the musical adaptation as a community participation project conceived by 2015 Meadows Prize winner Lear deBessonet during her residency in the Meadows School. The show was directed by Kevin Moriarty, with book, music and lyrics by Todd Almond.

The production showcased 200 Dallasites from all over the city, who shared the stage with professional actors. The unique staging vividly retold the Bard’s well-loved story of the marooned Prospero, who commands spirits, creates apparitions and manipulates the elements to take revenge on his enemies – and in the process awakens in Miranda, his teenage daughter, her first experience of love.

> See the full slideshow courtesy of SMU’s Meadows School of the Arts camera

2017-03-10T15:37:15+00:00 March 10, 2017|Site Spotlight, Tune In|

SMU law students to spend Spring Break 2017 representing detained immigrant women, children in Karnes, Texas

Karnes City Family Detention Center

Detained immigrant children line up in the cafeteria at the Karnes County Residential Center (Photo by Eric Gay of The Associated Press courtesy of National Public Radio)

About an hour outside of San Antonio, hundreds of undocumented immigrant and refugee women and children who fled violence in their home countries are detained at the Karnes City Family Detention Center, faced with the threat of deportation from an administration that wants them gone.

Starting Sunday, March 12, 2017, a team of eight SMU Dedman School of Law students (led by professor and immigration law expert Natalie Nanasi) will spend their spring break providing pro bono legal services to these undocumented immigrants, hoping to win them asylum in the United States.

The Karnes City center, operated by Immigration and Customs Enforcement in the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, has been open since 2014, housing women and children who have crossed the border into the South Texas.

“A majority of the Karnes City detainees are coming from El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala and fleeing gang violence, family violence or some combination thereof,” Nanasi said. “Their trip is supremely dangerous. Many don’t make it, and that’s something important to remember; these people flee because they know that if their daughters stay there, it’s certain they’ll be raped, and if their sons stay there, it’s certain they’ll be kidnapped by gangs.”

— Kenny Ryan

> Read the full story from SMU News

2017-03-10T13:42:15+00:00 March 10, 2017|Faculty in the News, News|

SMU Meadows joins ‘A Concert for Kindness’ to benefit rescue pets, Sunday, March 12, 2017

A Concert for Kindness benefit concert for Operation Kindness posterSMU artists will participate an evening of fine art to benefit shelter animals during the 2017 Concert for Kindness in Dallas City Performance Hall, 2520 Flora St., at 6 p.m. Sunday, March 12.

The annual fundraiser is organized by Artists for Animals co-founders Erin Hannigan (a faculty member in SMU’s Meadows School of the Arts and principal oboist with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra) and photographer Teresa Berg. The evening will include performances by members of the DSO, Avant Chamber Ballet and the Meadows School.

The event also features a silent art auction with works by area artists and students of Dallas’ Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts. A wine and dessert reception is included in the ticket price.

All proceeds benefit Operation Kindness, North Texas’ oldest and largest no-kill shelter.

> Buy tickets online at artistsforanimals.com/buy-tickets

2017-03-10T12:28:34+00:00 March 10, 2017|Calendar Highlights, News|

Wendy Davis to deliver Emmie V. Baine Lecture at 2017 SMU Women’s Symposium Wednesday, March 8

Wendy Davis, 2017 SMU Women's Symposium speakerWendy Davis, former Texas state senator and 2014 candidate for Texas governor, will deliver the keynote address in SMU’s 2017 Women’s Symposium Wednesday, March 8.

“We invited Wendy Davis to be our keynote speaker because she was a major advocate for women during her time in the Texas Senate and during her gubernatorial campaign,” said Aurora Havens, Women’s Symposium co-chair and a senior engineering major. “We believe she is an inspiration to all women, especially in Texas.”

The theme of the student-planned 2017 symposium, “My Body, Not Their Politics,” will focus on the politics surrounding issues such as sexual violence, reproductive justice, and women and politics.

“The theme addresses issues women face as well as the current political climate,” Havens says. Sachi Sarwal, a junior electrical engineering major, is also co-chair.

An attorney and long-time public servant, Davis served on the Fort Worth City Council from 1999 to 2008. She represented District 10 in the Texas Senate from 2009 to 2015, but made her mark nationally with an impassioned 11-hour filibuster in June 2013 that delayed passage of a bill restricting abortion regulations in Texas.  She ran for governor on the Democratic ticket in 2014, losing to Republican Greg Abbott.

In 2016, Davis launched a new initiative, Deeds Not Words, designed to train and equip young women to make changes in their communities.

More than 500 attendees are expected to attend SMU Women’s Symposium, created in 1966 as part of the University’s commemoration of its 50th anniversary. One of the longest running events of its kind, the symposium has challenged, changed and broadened women’s perspectives on campus and in the community.

The symposium is open to the public from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. at Hughes-Trigg Student Center. Discounted registration is offered to SMU faculty, staff and students. Visit www.smu.edu/womsym for registration. Registration is requested by Wednesday, March 1, 2017.

— Nancy George

> Find more information and a complete schedule at the SMU Women’s Symposium homepage: smu.edu/womsym

2017-03-03T15:34:27+00:00 February 24, 2017|Calendar Highlights, News|
Load More Posts