We meet every Wednesday at Noon:
Methodist Medical Center
Weiss Building
1401 Stemmons Ave.
Dallas, TX  75208

Upcoming Programs

    • September 26, 2018
    • 12:00 PM
    • Weiss Auditorium Methodist Hospital Dallas Education Building

    Rick Halperin is director of the Embrey Human Rights Program in Dedman College of Humanities & Sciences at Southern Methodist University. He joined the university’s history department in 1985 and began teaching human rights courses in 1990.

    In 2012 SMU began offering an undergraduate major in human rights, making it the first University in the South, and only the fifth in the country, to offer such a degree. This came five years after the Embrey Human Rights Program was created after a gift from The Embrey Family Foundation of Dallas.

    Outside the classroom, Halperin leads groups of students, faculty and community members on human rights educational journeys three times each year to such places as Argentina, Cambodia, Rwanda, South Africa, El Salvador, Bosnia and numerous Holocaust sites across Europe. That includes Poland, where, during the last two weeks of December, he takes a group to visit death camps and other Holocaust sites in order to learn about and pay tribute to the men, women and children destroyed in the camps, and to honor those who survived the experience.

    Halperin has held many leadership positions in human rights and social justice organizations, including Amnesty International USA, for which, during his more than 40-year affiliation, he’s served as chair of the board of directors three times. He also has served on the board of directors for the National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty, the Center for Survivors of Torture, the International Rescue Committee and the Texas Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty.

    The educator stays active in human rights monitoring projects, which have included participation in a U.N. Human Rights delegation that inspected prison conditions in Dublin, Ireland, and Belfast, Northern Ireland, for the Irish Prison Commission; a human rights monitoring delegation in El Salvador and Palestinian refugee camps in Gaza. On the domestic front he was part of an Amnesty International delegation that investigated the conditions of the Terrell Unit (Texas death row facility) in Livingston, Texas, and has been eyewitness to a lethal injection execution in the death chamber in Huntsville, Texas.

    Halperin works with numerous organizations that help women, children, gays and lesbians, indigenous persons, survivors of torture, imprisoned political prisoners of conscience and human rights defenders, journalists, and healthcare professionals under nonstop assault by governments around the world.

    The activist’s awards and recognition include the Amnesty International Frederick Douglass Abolitionist Award, Dallas Peacemaker of the Year, DCTV Freedom of Speech Award, NCADP Grassroots Activism Award, NCADP Lifetime Abolition Achievement Award, Humanitarian Service Award from the Human Rights Congress for Bangladesh Minorities of Dallas-Fort Worth, and the Dallas Young Lawyers Liberty Bell Award. He also is a recipient of a National Faculty Award from the National Association of Graduate Liberal Studies Programs.

    At SMU, Halperin has received the “M” Award (the University’s highest honor for outstanding service), three Outstanding Faculty Teacher Awards and a Robert O. Cooper Fellowship in Peace and Justice. He also was named a Piper Professor.

    Halperin holds degrees in Southern U.S. history from George Washington University (B.A., 1971), Southern U.S. history from Southern Methodist University (M.A., 1974) and Southern U.S. history from Auburn University (Ph.D., 1978). He also has studied at The Sorbonne in Paris (1968-1969).

    • October 03, 2018
    • 12:00 PM

    Joan Ridley devotes considerable time as a volunteer to educating voters about the need to establish an independent redistricting commission in Texas and fair voting practices.  She is an active member of the following groups: League of Women Voters, Common Cause, Independent Texas Redistricting, and Fair Maps. She also actively campaigns for candidates for public office who support the establishment of an independent redistricting commission in Texas. By profession, Joan is a business consultant to owners of lower mid-market businesses who seek a feasible ownership exit strategy.

    • October 17, 2018
    • 12:00 PM
    • Weiss Auditorium Methodist Hospital Dallas Education Building

    • October 24, 2018
    • 12:00 PM
    • Weiss Auditorium Methodist Hospital Dallas Education Building

    • October 31, 2018
    • 12:00 PM
    • Weiss Auditorium Methodist Hospital Dallas Education Building

    Annual recognition of Dallas Police Department Officer of the Month Award.

    • January 30, 2019
    • 12:00 PM
    • Weiss Auditorium Methodist Hospital Dallas Education Building

    Dr. Elba Garcia embodies a new breed of professional women in the 21st century. She is not only a community leader, but is also a mother and wife, a dentist with her own private practice, and a role model for Latino women from all walks of life. Dr. Garcia is a former Dallas City Council Member and the current Dallas County Commissioner for District 4.

    Born and educated in Mexico City, Dr. Garcia earned her Doctorate in Odontology from the Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana in 1984. She later immigrated to the United States, where she had to recertify her Degree at Baylor College of Dentistry, earning her second Doctorate in Dental Surgery (DDS) in 1990. She is a small business owner, having run her own private practice since 1998. Dr. Garcia also served as an assistant professor at the Baylor College of Dentistry. She is married and has two sons.

    Dr. Garcia has always dedicated herself to community service and began her service in public office in 2001 when she was elected to the Dallas City Council to represent the residents of District 1. While serving on the Dallas City Council, Dr. Garcia was instrumental in steering a number of important public projects to completion, including securing critical funds for the Latino Cultural Center and spearheading the development of a new Animal Shelter and the Oak Cliff Cultural Center. Additionally, she worked with the Environmental Committee to institute LEED standards for City of Dallas buildings. When she was chosen unanimously by her colleagues to serve as Deputy Mayor Pro Tem and Mayor Pro Tem, she was the first Latina to serve in those positions.

    Dr. Garcia was elected to serve as Dallas County Commissioner by the citizens of District 4 in November 2010, becoming the first Latina ever to serve on the Dallas County Commissioners Court. During this first term in office, Commissioner Garcia has focused on making county government more transparent, saving millions in tax dollars by fixing Dallas County’s bail bond system, pushed for the completion of the long-delayed Hunter-Ferrell Road project in Irving and Grand Prairie, building and extending trails in District 4, championing initiatives like the District Attorney’s new Animal Cruelty Unit, and educating constituents about Dallas County services. In her second term in office, the Dallas County purchasing rules and ethics policies have been updated, the MWBE certification has expanded, “ban the box” in Dallas County hiring policies have been adopted and Commissioner Garcia is leading the renovation of the Records Building Complex. 

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