Sustainability Summit

​11th Annual Virtual Sustainability Summit

Social Responsibility: Cultivating Civic Engagement


The theme of this year’s Sustainability Summit is Social Responsibility: Cultivating Civic Engagement.

Sustainability is a system thinking approach that addresses equity (people), the economy (prosperity) and the environment (planet). All three are interconnected. If one of these areas is ailing, then eventually they all will be affected.

This year’s conference examines the idea that citizens have a social responsibility to make a positive contribution to their community. And it offers suggestions for how to make that contribution.


Date, Time and Location

Friday, Nov. 5, 2021, 9 a.m.-4 p.m.

Register Now!

If you are interested in becoming a sponsor of the Sustainability Summit, contact Georgeann Moss.


Courtney Macavinta

Co-Founder and CEO of The Respect Institute (RI)

Friday, Nov. 5, 9:15 a.m.


8:15–8:45 a.m.

Virtual Meet and Greet

9-9:15 a.m.

  • Dr. Joe May
    Dr. Joe May Chancellor, Dallas College
  • Marisol Romany
    Marisol RomanyChief Social Responsibility and Inclusion Officer, Dallas College

9:15 a.m.

Keynote Address

Speaker: Courtney Macavinta, Co-Founder and CEO of The Respect Institute (RI)

10:15 a.m.

Why Voting Matters

Speaker: Diane Tasian, president; Barbara Larkin, voter services vice president

The League of Women Voters of Dallas is part of a nonpartisan national political organization operating at the local, state, and national level. They neither support nor oppose candidates or parties. Instead, they:

  1. Encourage voter education and registration for informed and engaged voices in the political decision-making process of governing
  2. Increase awareness of major public policy issues and decisions made on our behalf through votes by elected officials in Dallas County; and
  3. Influence public policy through education and advocacy
  4. This session will give you a refresher about why voting matters and examples of national climate legislation currently under consideration.

11:15 a.m.

Service Learning and Community Engagement: How They Benefit the Both Givers and Receivers

Moderator: Dr. Maria Boccalandro, Dallas College Dean of Special Academic Programs
Panelists: Americorps, UT Austin Service Learning, University of Hawaii

12:15 p.m.

Lunch on your own; visit with vendors and sponsors onl


Beyond Debate: How We Can Move Beyond Our Seemingly Intractable Wars of Ideas

Speaker: Lara Schwartz, Director, director of American University’s Project on Civil Discourse

From political campaigns to Thanksgiving tables, Americans are fighting about culture, language, policy, and often even facts. Lara Schwartz, founding director of American University's Project on Civil Discourse, is often asked to offer advice about how to foster "civil" debates. Her answer: no. In this talk, she will suggest that we don't need to fight more gently - we need to face tough questions together.

Lara Schwartz teaches at American University School of Public Affairs, where she is the founding director of the Project on Civil Discourse. She draws upon her experience as a civil rights lawyer to teach courses in government, law, and policy. Lara regularly speaks at national conferences on issues related to free speech on campus; productive dialogue; inclusive learning communities; collaborative learning; student activism; and college readiness. She is co-author of "How to College: What to Know Before You Go (And When You're There)," a practical guide to the college transition.

2 p.m.

Can Mindfulness and Compassion Training Increase Responsiveness and Resilience to the Climate Crisis?

Speakers: Christine Wamsler, Professor of Sustainability Science, Lund University Centre for Sustainability Studies, Sweden Professor of Sustainability Science; Jamie Bristow, director of the Mindfulness Initiative’s Activate Change project

What is the inner dimension of the climate crisis, and is there a link between sustainability and certain capacities of heart and mind? In this presentation, leading experts on the role of contemplative practices in public life, Jamie Bristow and Christine Wamsler, will report on their current research into these neglected questions.

Jamie runs the Mindfulness Initiative, a world-leading policy institute that clerks the UK All-Party Parliamentary Group on Mindfulness, whilst Christine is a professor at the Lund University Centre for Sustainability Studies in Sweden. Together they are conducting in-depth interviews and consultation amongst national and transnational politicians, policymakers and other experts in the field and will soon be reporting on how the inner life of citizens is currently understood by sustainability decision-makers and the potential of mindfulness and compassion training to increase responsiveness and resilience in the face of the climate crisis.

Join us to see what they've learned and what they recommend.

3 p.m.

Media Literacy: How to Spot Misinformation Online

Speaker: Alex Mahadevan, Program Manager of MediaWise at the Poynter Institute

The MediaWise project empowers people of all ages to become more critical consumers of content online. They believe that when facts prevail, democracy wins. They teach people digital media literacy and fact-checking skills to spot misinformation and disinformation, with initiatives specifically designed to engage Gen Z, college students and older Americans. Our innovative, digital-first program works constantly to address the ever-changing landscape of misinformation across the internet.

Participants will learn how to use tools and techniques employed by professional fact-checkers to separate fact from fiction on their social media feeds. Topics include everything from using a simple ctrl+F for vetting sources to reverse image searches and algorithms.

  • Reflective Structured Dialogues by Dr. Jill DeTemple, SMU
  • Sustainability for Self: How to Have the Time and Energy for Civic Engagement by Karen Cuttill, Dallas College
  • Three Questions that Can Transform the World by Lori Delacruz Lewis, Dallas College Assistant Director of Sustainability Education; Georgeann Moss, Dallas College Sr. Director of Sustainability


Learn More About 17 Goals
Learn about the 17 Sustainable Development Goals.


Available Sponsorship Opportunities

Sage Glass Logo
North Texas Renewable Energy Group Logo
Texas Regional Alliance for Campus Sustainability (TRACS) Logo
Natural Awakenings Logo
Women in the Environment (WE) Logo
Dallas 2030 District  Logo
GreenSource DFW Logo
Clear Channel Logo
Citizens’ Climate Lobby Logo
NCSE - National Council for Science and the Environment Logo
Texas Energy Managers Association (TEMA) Logo
  • City of Dallas Environmental Quality and Sustainability
  • Citizens' Climate Education Third Coast
  • Blackmon Mooring & BMS CAT
  • Abilene Christian University
  • Groundwork Dallas
  • Water is Alive
  • Climate Reality - DFW Chapter