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The Ethics Center sponsors lectures, conferences, and other educational activities that encourage individuals to reflect on their ethical responsibilities as individuals, citizens, members of informal groups, and participants in formal organizations. The topic may include the nature of a good life, the ethical treatment of others, setting norms for ethical behavior, or pursuing social and political justice. Areas of interest include bioethics, business, law, medicine, public policy, and others.


February 2, 2023, 1:00 – 2:00 pm: Dean Erwin Chemerinsky, UC-Berkeley Law School. A discussion about law school, the Supreme Court, and free speech with lots of times for Q&A. CEMO 101.

February 2, 2023, 4:00 – 5:30 pm: Erwin Chemerinsky, Dean, UC-Berkeley Law School, “Worse than Nothing: The Dangerous Fallacy of Originalism,” UH Hilton Shamrock Ballroom. Dean Chemerinsky will discuss his recent book on the Supreme Court doctrine of original intent as well as recent Supreme Court cases and the politics of the Court. More Information.

February 6, 2023: Op-Ed Project Workshop at UH. First day in-person meeting.

February 23-25, 2023: “Liberal Education, Commercial Innovation, and the Public Good Conference,” organized by Political Science and Honors College faculty.

Friday, February 24, 2023, 12:00 – 1:30 pm (Central Time, Houston-Chicago): James Thompson, The University of Manchester, “Care Aesthetics.”
Zoom Registration Link

March 2, 2023, 4:00 – 5:30 pm: Greg Scott, Professor and Director of Graduate Studies (Sociology), DePaul University (“Sociology in Action” Lecture organized by the UH Sociology Department), Elizabeth D. Rockwell Pavilion.

Professor Greg Scott is a visual sociologist, artist, and filmmaker. He is the founder and president of Sawbuck Productions, Inc., a non-profit organization that produces observational documentary films, experimental art films and other multimedia content. Greg is also the founding editor-in-chief of the Journal of Video Ethnography, the first-ever academic journal of peer-reviewed ethnographic films. His sociological work focuses on the socio-cultural dynamics of street level drug markets and drug using communities, while his artistic work revolves around the rituals, norms, customs, and folklore of small town life in the American Midwest. His documentary films have screened at festivals around the world and his work has appeared on radio and television, including the National Geographic Network, BET Network and MSNBC. In 2008 Greg received the Lisagor Award for Best Investigative/Public Service Reporting for his Chicago Public Radio series The Brickyard: Life on the Streets of Chicago.

Friday, March 10, 2023, 12:00 – 1:30 pm (Central Time, Houston-Chicago): Lina-Maria Murillo, University of Iowa.
Zoom registration link

Friday, April 28, 2023, 12:00 – 1:30 pm (Central Time, Houston-Chicago): Helena Hirata, University of Paris VIII.
Zoom registration link:

Past Events

Friday, January 27, 2023, 12:00 – 1:30 pm (Central Time, Houston-Chicago): Justin Clardy, Santa Clara University, “Black Polyamory and Civic Tenderness.”
Zoom replay


care-centered-politics.jpgFriday, November 4, 2022, 12:00 – 1:30 pm (Central Time, Houston-Chicago): Robert Gottlieb, Occidental College, Care-Centered Politics (MIT Press, 2022).

Watch Replay


October 28-29, 2022: Healing Injustice: Innovating Holistic Defense Conference. 

The United States (U.S.) leads the world in a grim statistic: approximately 6.5 million people are incarcerated or under criminal justice supervision (e.g., probation, parole). Moreover, the affected population is disproportionately comprised of people of color, people with disabilities, and people living in poverty. The right to a defense attorney when someone is charged with a crime is enshrined in the Sixth Amendment of the United States Constitution. However, the quality of this defense is often inadequate due to under-resourcing, raising questions about people's constitutional rights.

Holistic indigent defense refers to approaches that engage “teams of professionals that address a range of the client’s needs rather than simply a heroic solitary lawyer who represents a defendant solely at criminal trial.” This approach attempts to address not only clients’ legal needs, but also seeks to ameliorate the impact of arrest and incarceration (e.g., employment, housing, nutrition, access to health care). 

This is a groundbreaking conference that brings together lawyers, social workers, community health workers, human services professionals, students, and data scientists to engage with the possibilities of reshaping the way that people without economic means experience legal representation. 


trans-care.jpgThursday, October 6, 2022, 12:00 – 1:30 pm (Central Time, Houston-Chicago): Hil Malatino, Penn State, Trans Care (University of Minnesota Press, 2020). 

Watch Replay


September 29 – October 1, 2022: Healing Arts Houston: Innovations in Arts and Health. 

Innovations in Arts and Health: Collaborating for Medical Humanities, Professional Development, and Community Health is an international conference convening the brightest and most creative minds working at the intersection of arts and health in Houston, a global mecca for innovations in the arts, health sciences and medical education. The three-day conference is part of the global series “The Future is Unwritten: Healing Arts,” produced in partnership with the World Health Organization and Culturunners. Healing Arts Houston is open to the public and will be a dynamic space for dialogue, learning and inspiration. Practicing artists, healthcare professionals, medical educators, and scholars are welcome to attend.


fitzgerald-book-cover.pngFriday, September 9, 2022, 12:00 – 1:30 pm (CDT, Houston-Chicago): Maggie Fitzgerald, University of Saskatchewan, Care and the Pluriverse: Rethinking Global Ethics (Bristol University Press, July 2022). Commentary by Maurice Hamington, Portland State University.


Friday, May 6, 2022, 12:00 – 1:30 pm (CST Houston-Chicago): Riikka Prattes, Duke University, "Learning through Care: Decentering Dominant Epistemologies to Theorize Caring Men at the 'Center.’" Zoom

Watch Replay


dr.-taylor-flyer.pngApril 26, 2022, 12 - 2:00 PM

The Long Black 1980s: A lunchtime talk with Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor
Farish Hall Room 232





eva-kittay.jpgThursday, April 21, 2022, 4:00 – 5:20 pm: Eva Kittay, Distinguished Professor of Philosophy at Stony Brook University/SUNY “Is Being Human Sufficient for Full Moral Status?” Honors Commons (2nd Floor MD Anderson Library).



Tuesday, April 12, 2 PM
Research and Advocacy in the Environmental Justice Movement
Session 1: Gerald Torres, Yale Law School; Paula Mohai, University of Michigan; Daniel Faber, Northeastern University
Session 2: Sheila Foster, Georgetown Law; Julian Agyeman, Tufts University; David N. Pellow, UC Santa Barbara
Moderator: Andrew Jewett, Elizabeth D. Rockwell Distinguished Visiting Professor

Watch Replay


vpatrick.jpgApril 8, 2022: 12:00 – 1:00 pm: Bauer Lunchtime Series on Ethics and Leadership.  Vanessa Patrick Ralhan, Bauer College of Business, “Inclusive Design: An Emerging Trend in Developing New (and Better) Products.” CBB Multipurpose Room. Free pizza will be served.




Thursday, April 7, 4 PM
UH Libraries Elizabeth D. Rockwell Scholar-in-Residence Keynote Address
Rising to the Challenges of a Post-COVID World through the Open-Source Revolution
Sayeed Choudhury, Johns Hopkins University
Co-hosted with the Elizabeth D. Rockwell Center on Ethics & Leadership
Rockwell Pavilion, M.D. Anderson Library, UH Campus


kristen-ylana.jpgApril 7, 2022, 12:00 – 12:45 pm: The Corner Booth presents Kristen Ylana, Executive Director of the Texas Women’s Health Caucus, “The Puzzle of Women’s Health: How Race, Class, & Gender Intersect in Texas.”

Watch Replay



Wednesday, April 6, 5:30 PM
Race, Health and Justice in the Modern US
“Mapping Value: Structural Racism & Health Consequences,” Jonathan Holloway, president, Rutgers University,
“Race and Science in the Environmental Justice Movement,” Andy Jewett, Hobby School Elizabeth D. Rockwell Center Distinguished Visiting Professor
Elizabeth D. Rockwell Pavilion, M.D. Anderson Library, UH Campus


coverstory_1024xx1500-844-0-124.jpgApril 1, 2022, 12:00 – 1:00 pm: Keynote Lecture: Scott McClelland, President of H-E-B Food/Drug Stores, “Ethical Leadership.” Rockwell Pavilion. Free pizza will be served.





curtis-wesley.jpgMarch 25, 2022, 12:00 – 1:00 pm: Curtis Wesley, Bauer College of Business, “Do the Right Thing: The Imprinting of Deonance at the Upper Echelons,” CBB Multipurpose Room. Free pizza will be served.




cag-0239.jpgMarch 24, 2022, 12:00 – 12:45 pm: The Corner Booth presents Commissioner Adrian Garcia, “Empowering Civic Engagement in Immigrant Communities.” Watch Replay Here



susan_collins.2.jpegMarch 10, 2022, 4:00 - 5:30pm: Sue Collins, Notre Dame University, “The Spartan Regime and Its Classical Critics,” Honors Commons. 





The Elizabeth D. Rockwell Center on Ethics and Leadership presents:

sarah-munawar.jpgMarch 4, 2022, 12:00 – 1:30 pm: Sarah Munawar, University of British Columbia, “A Care-Based Epistemology of Islam,” Care Ethics Zoom Lecture Series.

Can you be a Muslim and do political theory in a way that does not come at the expense of your relational responsibilities, witnessing capacities, and situated knowledges? What kinds of responsibilities arise from a care-based epistemology of Islam for Muslim political theorists? Instead of journeying to other shores, I argue that before assuming the “work” of comparative inquiry, we must open up the boundaries of political theory as a tradition and the moral inscrutability of political theorists as subjects. This requires unlearning and disinheriting white-orientated textual sensibilities and orientations of knowing the Muslim Other.  Through embodied tafsir (quranic exegesis), I introduce care as a decolonizing intervention into how we come to know Islam and study Muslim subjectivities and communities in political science. 


Thursday, Feb. 24, 1 PM

“Care Theory: Application for Health Care Professionals,” Maurice Hamington, Portland State University

About the speaker: Maurice Hamington is Professor of Philosophy, and Affiliate Faculty in Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, at Portland State University. He has authored or edited twelve books, including five on care ethics, and is currently working on three collected volumes, including two on care ethics. Maurice is a Member of the International Consultants for the Melete Center of Philosophy for Care, University of Verona, and a Steering Committee Member of the International Care Ethics Research Consortium (Utrecht, the Netherlands).

Honors Commons, M.D. Anderson Library


kwame-anthony-appiah-4x3.jpgThursday, February 17, 2:00 – 3:00 pm “Ask the Ethicist” session. Professor will talk about his work as a NY times Ethicist and answer ethics questions from daily life. 

Elizabeth Rockwell Pavilion, MD Anderson Library, University of Houston

4:00 - 5:30 pm "The Lies that Bind" Professor will discuss the history and nature of the identities that define us, including gender, race, religion, class, nationality and culture, to expose the myths behind them. 

Elizabeth Rockwell Pavilion, MD Anderson Library, University of Houston


linda_martin_alcoff-1080x675.pngFebruary 4, 2022: "Intersectionalizing #MeToo" Linda Martín Alcoff

Friday, Feb. 4th, 2022 at 1PM

Watch Replay

EDR center sponsored, co-sponsored by Women Gender and Sexualities Studies Dept. 


dims.jpgFriday, January 28, 12:00 – 1:30 pm (CST) with feminist philosopher and psychologist Carol Gilligan:

Carol Gilligan, “In a Different Voice: Why Does Nobody Talk About the Abortion Decisions?”  

Watch the replay


stephany.pngJanuary 27, 2022:  “Environmental Justice and Public Health” With Stephany Mgbadigha

Legal & Advocacy Director, Air Alliance Houston

Thursday, January 27, 2022

12:00 – 12:45 pm


hammington-book.jpegFriday, Nov. 19, 2021, 12–1:30 pm (CST): Maurice Hamington + co-authors, Care Ethics in the Age of Precarity (University of Minnesota Press, 2021).





jenkins_flyer.pngThursday, November 18, 12:00 – 12:45 pm: Interview with Dr. Jasmine Jenkins, Executive Director, Houstonians for Great Public Schools (Houston GPS), Zoom Event.

“The Self-Perpetuating Cycle of Educational and Economic Opportunity”



Nov. 11, 2021, 9 am-2 pm
: "Healthy Parents, Healthy Kids: Policy, Practice, and Equity for Thriving Young Families,"


A day of learning and action around topics including addressing the maternal mortality rate in Texas, debate and legislative actions on the Medicaid expansion in Texas, supporting new fathers, social determinants of health and health disparities for young children and new parents, and health equity and outcomes across race and class. An afternoon legislative session will include a roundtable discussion with Rep. Donna Howard (Chair of Women's Health Caucus), Rep. Toni Rose (Sponsor of HB 133 on the expansion of postpartum healthcare), and others.



Thursday, Nov. 4, 4-5:30 pm Richard Gelwick Endowed Lecture. Rashawn Ray (University of Maryland, Brookings Institution) and Richard Epstein (NYU Law, U of Chicago, and Hoover Institution) will debate Black Reparations.

Reparations proponent Rashawn Ray and well-known reparations opponent Richard Epstein conducted a virtual debate moderated by Chauncy Glover, news anchor of Houston’s KTRK ABC13.

reparations-town-hall-for-uh.jpgThe event was live-streamed via a UH Zoom platform, as well as offered via KTRK’s digital platforms, including the ABC13 app on ROKU, FireTV, Apple TV and Google TV.

Watch the Replay

ABC 13 Replay 



Wednesday, October 27, 12:00 – 1:30 pm: Elana Buch, University of Iowa
Care Ethics Zoom Lecture Series
“Inequalities of Aging.” Commentary: Lizzie Ward, University of Brighton, UK. 

Elana Buch is an Associate Professor in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Iowa. A sociocultural, medical, and applied anthropologist, is broadly interested in the ways that large-scale sociocultural changes shape and are shaped by everyday practice and intimate relationships and how these together generate forms of social difference and inequality. Her research focuses on how inequality is implicated in the emerging ways that people, families, and states organize kinship, labor, and caregiving in the wake of population aging. 

Her book, Inequalities of Aging: Paradoxes of Independence in American Home Care (2018, NYU Press­) shows how the work that enables a growing number of older adults to age independently also generates profound social inequalities. 

Watch Replay


virginiaheld.jpgOct. 15, 2021: Virginia Held, "The Ethics of Care and Economic Activity."

Care Ethics Zoom Lecture Series.

Watch Replay


book-cover.gifThursday, Oct. 14, 2021, 4-5:20 pm: "Challenges to Scientific Authority in North America: A Century of Battles Over the Cultural Implications of Science in the U.S." with Elizabeth D. Rockwell Distinguished Visiting Professor, Andrew Jewett

Intellectual historian Andrew Jewett is the 2021 Elizabeth D. Rockwell Center on Ethics and Leadership Distinguished Visiting Scholar. His work explores the intersection of intellectual and political history, with particular attention to the politics of knowledge and engagements between religion and science.

Honors Commons, M.D. Anderson Library


ellis_oct-14_homepage.pngOct 14, 2021 12:00 PM Central Time (US and Canada)

Corner Booth: Commissioner Rodney Ellis "Racism is a Public Health Crisis"

Watch Here


david-kwok.jpgFriday, Oct. 8, 2021, 12–1 pm: David Kwok, UH Law Center and 2021 Elizabeth D. Rockwell Center Fellow “Federal Prosecution of State Corruption.”, UH Law Center, Zoom presentation.



williams_carolinerandall.pngThursday, Oct 7, 2021, 4 pm–5:20 pm: Elizabeth D. Rockwell Distinguished Lecture and Reception: Caroline Randall Williams, Elizabeth Rockwell Pavilion.

The Body Is the Text - One Woman’s American Narrative. 

When Caroline Randall Williams wrote that her body was a monument, that was only the beginning of the thought. The body does so much work past the work. So much telling past the shape of the thing. From what we feed ourselves, to how we tell the truth of where our bodies have been, what they’ve done, so much can be read on the body, of the body’s story. This talk will explore Professor William’s unique take on American identity through this fresh, embodied lens. 


renee-knake-jefferson.jpgMonday, Oct. 4, 12–1:00 pm: Renee Knake Jefferson, “Supreme Court Shortlists and Other Observations on the Opening of the 2021 Term.” Zoom Presentation.

Join University of Houston law professor Renee Knake Jefferson, an inaugural Elizabeth D. Rockwell Faculty Fellow at the Hobby School of Public Affairs, to celebrate the opening day of the 2021 United States Supreme Court term. Professor Jefferson will discuss research from her book Shortlisted: Women in the Shadows of the Supreme Court and share other observations about what the coming year may hold for the Court.