The Breaking Free from Global Disinformation session occurs at 3:30 pm on March 11 at the Line Hotel

10 Social Impact Sessions for March 11

The Forrest Four-Cast: March 11, 2019

You’ll fine some of the most intriguing and thought-provoking content for SXSW 2019 within the Social & Global Impact Track, which occur at the newly renovated Line Hotel (111 E Cesar Chavez), just 2 blocks southwest of the Austin Convention Center.

Listed in chronological order, ten sessions within this track for Monday, March 11 that we are particularly excited about are as follows:

Can the Private Sector Solve Inequality?
Rapid advances in technology are transforming our world and creating new avenues to lift up vulnerable populations. Yet, as digital economies grow, too many people are being left behind. Increasingly, consumers and employees expect brands to embrace sustainable and purpose-driven corporate social responsibility (CSR) programs while offering solutions that advance equity and economic mobility. Can companies create positive social impact while growing the bottom line? And can the private sector really solve inequality? Mastercard’s Parag Mehta and Netspend’s Vera Hinojosa will share their insights on how companies — big and small — can tap into their unique expertise, resources and technology to tackle global and regional issues while staying true to their brand, customers and employees.
9:30 am in the Onyx Ballroom

Sanctuary: Documenting Faith-Based Social Movements
Faith-based collaborations for social justice were integral to the abolitionist movement, the civil rights movement and more. How are interfaith collaborations being used today in the fight for immigration rights? Documentary filmmakers from across the country covering the stories of undocumented immigrants who take Sanctuary, and the faith communities who have made places of worship available to them, will discuss the methods and challenges of filmmaking around their work. They will share strategies of faith communities taking steps forward as progressive and powerful allies in this movement. The panel will also address ways in which documentary films can be used to engage locally and nationally, even potentially building a case for pathways for stays of deportation for their subjects.
9:30 am in the Topaz Ballroom

Can Faith and Feminism Coexist?
We’re sparking the conversation that no one is having around the two F words: Faith and Feminism. Here to have a candid discussion about how faith is feminist and how these two seemingly opposing worlds shape one another are Dyllan McGee, Founder and Executive Producer of MAKERS, and Nadia Bolz-Weber, the tattooed, foul-mouthed, founding pastor of House for All Sinners and Saints.
11 am in the Topaz Ballroom

Latinos Lead: Where Do We Go From Here?
Latinos are playing a strong role in transforming America’s future. Some of the most important social issues of our time directly involve or affect Latinos. Hear from four panelists who are educating the Latino community, and shaping the way all citizens can get involved in important social issues. These panelists who are leading in their communities and discussing how we are navigating 2019.
11 am in the Onyx Ballroom

Tikkun Olam: How Faith Informs Social Justice
The Hebrew phrase Tikkun Olam translates roughly to “world repair”. It is a concept defined by acts of kindness performed to perfect or repair the world and in modern times, it has become synonymous with the notion of social action and the pursuit of justice. Four dynamic speakers explore the impact of their faith (Judaism, Buddhist, Muslim, Christian) on their work for social justice and their fight for human rights.
12:30 pm in the Topaz Ballroom

Breaking Free From Global Disinformation
Disinformation, amplification and intimidation are widely used to drown out reliable journalistic reporting. Predators of press freedoms are building a tracked and censored internet, while blocking external content. Democracies are undermined while despotic regimes develop intricate propaganda machines that silence dissent, locally and globally. Solutions are badly needed to strengthen journalism & the integrity of public debate. That’s why Reporters Without Borders has launched a global appeal to mobilize governments and those committed to defending a free and pluralistic public space, essential for democracy.
2 pm in the Onyx Ballroom

Effective Religious and Civic Leadership
As sharp ideological divisions continue to polarize our communities, we need leaders who have the skills to engage people and communities who hold a variety of legal, ideological, religious and nonreligious perspectives. By applying this constitutional framework, leaders will be able to forge a shared understanding of the place of religion in public life and work together to sustain America’s bold experiment in living with our deepest differences. The Religious Freedom Center of the Freedom Forum Institute is committed to promoting dialogue and understanding among people of all religions and none.
3:30 pm in the Topaz Ballroom

Gangs, Entrepreneurs and Beer: Stopping the Violence
Sounds a bit crazy, but American gangs (think Bloods, Crips, GD, etc.) more closely resemble college fraternities than organized crime. Crazier sounding still, these gangs have written mission statements, vision statements and key values that all of us would be proud to align with. Not as surprising, gang members are resilient people with critical business skills like sales, operations, finance and leadership. They’re an unused workforce, a potential change agent with strong influence in the inner cities. TRU Colors Brewing is an example of startups tackling big social issues. The Company was founded by and employs primarily active gang members. And aside from making great beer, the company is committed to uniting rival gangs and stopping violence across America.
And it’s working!
5 pm in the Onyx Ballroom

Muslim Jewish Sisterhood and Public Policy
Our mission is to build our shared power to make change in the progressive policy areas in which our beliefs and values intersect. We do our work rooted in faith with the understanding that our voices together are greater than the sum of their parts. In this session, you will learn how Muslim and Jewish women came together, set aside differences and work on progressive policy. Food brings us together, we get trained, and we show up at the Capitol. Together.
5 pm in the Topaz Ballroom

Hugh Forrest serves as Chief Programming Officer at SXSW, the world’s most unique gathering of creative professionals. He also tries to write at least four paragraphs per day on Medium. These posts often cover tech-related trends; other times they focus on books, pop culture, sports and other current events.



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Hugh Forrest

Hugh Forrest


Celebrating creativity at SXSW. Also, reading reading reading, the Boston Red Sox, good food, exercise when possible and sleep sleep sleep.