A Week of Social Impact: Here’s the Top 10 Things You Don’t Want to Miss at bigBANG! 2020

From Oct. 26-30, this year's bigBANG! conference will convene social innovators, community leaders, and business professionals to explore topics on racial, gender, and economic equity.

This year’s bigBANG! conference aims to be timely, topical, and impactful—especially given the recent events that have been going on across the country.

In the first half of 2020, what is being called the largest civil rights action since the ’60s began amidst a global pandemic that disproportionately affected communities of color. Now, with an election and new year around the corner, local leaders say it’s a time for reflection, action, and transformative dialogue.

That’s why bigBANG! decided to make its theme Equity in Action: The Next 100 Years! for its annual event from Oct. 26-30.

“The evidence of long-standing discrimination in our nation is clear,” organizers say. “Disparities in income, wealth, community infrastructure, educational outcomes, health and incarceration rates all point to systems that better serve some groups and exclude others, particularly people of color and women.”

In 2009, Social Venture Partners Dallas founded the bigBANG! to gather those who believe social innovation lies at the heart of an equitable society. Today, it’s known as North Texas’ longest social impact conference.

bigBANG! 2020 is being dubbed “a rally point for our community.” Organizers are calling the week-long conference an opportunity to mark the progress that has been made and to renew a commitment to achieving equity and justice for all.

Each session will convene social innovators, community leaders, and business professionals who will explore topics related to racial, gender, and economic equity. The intent is to dismantle injustice and rework and rebuild systems—overall making Dallas a more equitable city.

Together with Social Venture Partners, Dallas Innovates rounded up the top ten highlights you don’t want to miss. Go here for the full schedule of this year’s conference, which features 90 speakers and 49 programs.

Descriptions courtesy of bigBANG! 2020.

Equity in Religion: A Conversation with Sister Helen Prejean
Tuesday, October 27
11-11:45 a.m.

In this session, Sister Helen Prejean, an author who is known around the world for her work against the death penalty, and Rev. Dr. Alyce McKenzie, a professor of Preaching and Worship at SMU’s Perkins School of Theology, discuss justice in the Christian tradition and what light they see from the church that leads toward equity. This program is supported by Dodee Frost Crockett and Merrill Lynch.

Reproductive Justice & Gender Equity
Tuesday, October 27
12-12:45 p.m.

From education policies to federal funding to personal dignity under the law, discrimination against women takes a myriad of forms with regard to reproductive rights and sexual health. For an issue that so dramatically impacts personal health and life trajectories, the case for reform is mighty but will require all of us to take it up. Innovators and advocates unpack the dimensions of this movement, share their work, and brainstorm strategies that might help make progress on this essential issue.

This program is in partnership with Ntarupt, Planned Parenthood, and the Afiya Center & LBJ School for Public Affairs at University of Texas at Austin.

Uniting for Equity
Wednesday, October 28
8:15-9 a.m.

United Way of Metropolitan Dallas, the Dallas Citizens Council, and the Dallas Regional Chamber want to build a coalition of civic, business, and philanthropic leaders to tackle racial equity. BCG will support the effort with a $1 million, 3-year pro bono investment. Find out how this innovative collaboration will unfold.

Panelists include: Dale Petroskey, Dallas Regional Chamber; Erin George, Boston Consulting Group; Kelvin Walker, Dallas Citizens Council; and Jennifer Sampson, United Way of Metropolitan Dallas.

Prosperity by Policy: A Conversation with Darrick Hamilton
Wednesday, October 28
11-11:45 a.m.

Darrick Hamilton is an economic innovator and scholar who is working to help us see clearly how inequality, economics, and life outcomes intersect.

In this session, Hamilton will talk with Roy Lopez from the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas and Cullum Clark from the Bush Institute about dispelling commonly held myths about inequity in the economy and how we can move toward smart new policies that might close the racial wealth gap and build a more equitable economy.

Advancing Economic Equity Through Community Partnerships
Wednesday, October 28
12-12:45 a.m.

Advancing economic equity for underserved communities involves players across the nonprofit, public, and private sectors. Organized by the Dallas Fed, this session will feature lessons learned from cross-sector, community-based collaborations who have worked through the pandemic to improve education and workforce outcomes across Texas.

Speakers include: Kseniya Benderskaya, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas; Chantel Rush, The Kresge Foundation; Eric Ban, Dallas County Promise; and Bryant Black, Greater Houston Partnership.

Adapting CSR in a Changing World: Equity in Corporate America
Thursday, October 29
8:15-9 a.m.

Major corporations around the world have made statements and commitments to reforms that might develop more equitable workforces and better serve their communities. But what does it look like to implement these changes within some of the largest organizations our world has seen?

This panel—co-presented with Bank of America, Mary Kay, and Celanese Corporation—brings recognized corporate leaders from our communities to discuss how their companies are taking up their responsibility to gender and racial equity while facing the unique challenges of 2020.

Healthy Manhood is a Pathway to Equity: A Conversation with Ted Bunch
Thursday, October 29
9:45-10:30 a.m.

#MeToo, the global pandemic, and ongoing racial unrest have shined a light on the systemic inequities that prevent our society from thriving. A Call to Men’s Ted Bunch radically challenges the collective socialization of men by examining the social norms, culture, and traditional images of manhood that have created an environment that allows those inequities to persist.

In this conversation with Texas Women’s Foundation CEO, Roslyn Dawson Thompson, Bunch will offer an invitation to male-identified folks to understand and re-evaluate power structures, develop their skills as courageous leaders, and rise toward real equity.

Challenging the Status Quo to Create Systemic Change: A Keynote Conversation with Angela Glover Blackwell and Susan Hoff 
Thursday, October 29
12:30-1:15 p.m.

As a leading voice in the movement for equity in the US, Angela Glover Blackwell launched PolicyLink more than 20 years ago to use public policy to improve access and opportunity for all low-income people and communities of color, particularly in the areas of health, housing, transportation, and infrastructure.

In this keynote conversation, Susan Hoff of United Way of Metropolitan Dallas will talk with Blackwell about bold, inspiring solutions to our society’s most pressing problems.

Equity and the Ecosystem: BIPOC Business Development in North Texas 
Friday, October 30
8:05-9 a.m.

Economic justice and the growth of equitable business development opportunities will require intentional collaboration and action from all sectors. Systemic barriers inherently run across all areas of the economy and aren’t isolated to one institution or sector.

By deliberately moving together, North Texas can support the extraordinary potential that lies in BIPOC-owned and -led businesses and knock down the systems that impede them. This presentation and panel discussion will introduce what it means to take an ecosystem perspective, discuss the current state of collaboration in North Texas, and highlight the next steps to removing barriers for BIPOC businesses in the region.

Investing with a Gender Lens: Moving the Needle for Gender Equality
Friday, October 30
12-1 p.m.

Research is clear that in our society, and across the globe, there is much work to be done to achieve gender equality—where access to rights and opportunities is unaffected by gender. While philanthropy has an important part to play in advancing gender equality, the ever-expanding field of gender lens investing is demonstrating its ability to accelerate powerful and positive change for women worldwide.

Individuals and organizations passionate about advancing gender equality are harnessing the power of invested capital that delivers financial return while also improving economic opportunities and social wellbeing for women and girls. Meet pacesetters and experts in gender lens investing as they discuss the movement, the opportunities and the impact for investors and for women and girls.

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