Progressive Forum Houston
UPDATE SEPTEMBER 2017: Letter from Randall Morton: Relaunching!
I’m excited to be working on our next event! After a three-and-a-half year hiatus, we are relaunching The Progressive Forum. In this dangerous time of a Trump Presidency, I believe we need it more than ever. But more deeply, personally, I’ve missed the engagement, the sharing of real values, and the fire of tribal gatherings.
On Monday November 6, we’re presenting Anthony Romero, executive director of the ACLU, the nation’s premier defender of civil liberties. This, at a time and place that’s fitting: now in Texas and Houston.
The ACLU is leading the resistance on issues we feel acutely here, the abuse of immigrants, voting rights, LGBT rights, press freedoms, and more. For example, Romero and the ACLU achieved a first legal victory by winning a nationwide stay of Trump’s Muslim travel ban just 24 hours after it was issued.
And the Texas affiliate, headquartered in Houston, has been fighting similar discriminatory efforts at the state level and is at the forefront of national legal battles as well. I’m thrilled ACLU of Texas executive director, Terri Burke, will be introducing Anthony Romero.
You’ll love our new venue, Congregation Emanu El, across from Rice University on Sunset Blvd., with one of the most intimate seating arrangements in town, all seats are close to the speaker podium. With 850 seats, about the size of the Alley Theatre, the venue is only 14 rows deep. Parking is free and convenient on the campus.
Thanks in advance for your attendance and your donations. Did you know your support enables us to reach thousands online? I’m proud of our website, a TED-talk site for progressives, the only one if the world. We’re sharing values you care about with a worldwide audience!
I urge you to buy your tickets now, this event is a likely sellout. Don’t miss the chance to reunite with fellow progressives! And to join the resistance! I’m looking forward to reconnecting, see you Monday, November 6!
Randall R. Morton
UPDATE MARCH 2014: After nine years of sharing the warm light of a tribal campfire with you, a gathering of kindred spirits with the great minds, we are ending our theatrical events and continuing the mission online. I will miss you.
But I hope you’ll join me for the closing event on Monday, April 21, with Bill McKibben, a fitting finality on the most important issue of all, solving the climate crisis. After the program, please be part of our special reception in the grand foyer sharing toasts and memories with complimentary refreshments. This event should attract a capacity audience, you’ll see many friends there, it will be a memorable night. It’s our small way of saying thank you.
We leave a lasting gift to our Houston community, video recordings of our past speakers, great minds with great answers fostering the success of individuals, our species, and life on the planet. Nothing replaces the kinship of a personally shared experience. But with a dynamic website, we are evolving our business model to reach an even larger, worldwide audience, and I hope you’ll join me there.
What’s driving our closing? It’s time for me to get on with the writing of several books while I’m feeling healthy and energetic. I can’t put this off any longer.
The timing is also driven by a mandate from Houston First, the corporation which operates the city’s theaters. Starting this summer, presenters like us who rent the theaters must give up our custom box office operations and use theirs. Unfortunately, there are no alternative theaters. Our board has considered the related issues including going forward with a new team to succeed me. But after a year of intense examination, we believe a virtual future is best for The Progressive Forum at this time.
Healthy endings are part of life. It’s been a good run. This is what I want to focus on. The Progressive Forum has been successful in every way, you and our community have made it happen, and it’s time to celebrate these achievements.
I hope what you take away are the rich inspirations from our programs, as well as the inspirations from the people closely involved, our remarkable attendees, donors, event sponsors, promotional partners, volunteers, directors, advisors, and production teams. That’s what it is for me, the people.
I started my search for authentic answers at the age of 20, finding traditional sources and conventional thinking unsatisfying. Now at the age of 65, it is deeply satisfying to be growing into a sense of knowing after we’ve cultivated the great answers together. We are proud to offer the pantheon of great minds on our website for the enrichment of humanity. With our team, I look forward to our joining forces in continuing to nurture and promote this global media resource, I hope you’ll join me in this journey.
I wish the word, thanks, was adequate. My best to you in your own search for answers.
Randall R. Morton
The Progressive Forum, Houston’s new civic speaker organization whose aim is to enrich our democracy and culture by presenting the greatest minds from all the fields of human endeavor – the sciences and humanities as well as the world of politics and public affairs. Our progressive viewpoint is rooted in the mainstream constitutional, enlightenment, and egalitarian values of America’s founding fathers, a bedrock of moderate values that need affirming, now more than ever.