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Former First Lady Laura Bush and Presidential Candidate Julian Castro to Speak at Conference

  • Two Texans -- Laura Bush, former First Lady of the United States, and Julian Castro, secretary of housing and urban development in the Obama administration – will address urban educators at the Council of the Great City Schools’ 64th Fall Conference scheduled for Oct. 14-18 in Dallas.

    In the White House, Bush promoted literacy and lifelong learning to improve the prospects for young people and convened a White House Summit on Early Childhood Cognitive Development. In 2001, with the Library of Congress, she was instrumental in creating the National Book Festival in Washington, D.C, which became an annual event. Laura Bush

    Bush has visited schools across the globe, with a special focus on the education of girls and women. She is chair of the George W. Bush Institute’s Women’s Initiative, which runs programs to prepare the next generation of women leaders in North Africa and the Middle East and to protect women’s rights in Afghanistan.

    She is the author of a memoir, Spoken From the Heart, and a children’s book, Our Great Big Backyard.

    A graduate of the San Antonio Independent School District, Castro started his career in public service in San Antonio, first as councilman and then as mayor, serving from 2009 to 2014. A highlight of his tenure was creation of Pre-K4SA, an early-childhood learning initiative with $30 million funding from a sales tax approved by voter referendum.

    In 2012, Castro delivered the keynote address at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C., the first Latino to do so. Julian Castro

    Named housing secretary by President Barack Obama in 2014, Castro spearheaded efforts to reduce homelessness and created Connect Home, a public-private partnership to deliver broadband to public housing residents. He held the post until January 2017. 

    In 2018, Castro was named Dean’s Distinguished Fellow and Fellow of the Dávila Chair in International Trade Policy at the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas at Austin. He serves on the board of directors of the LBJ Foundation. He was among the candidates seeking the Democratic nomination for president, ending his bid in early January.

    He is the author of a memoir, An Unlikely Journey: Waking Up From My American Dream.