December 9, 2020

Dear friends,

If hindsight is 2020, what do we see when we look at the astonishing year just past? Something epic, something big, is surely underway. Surely, some revelation is at hand! Our eyes widen as we engage with our friends, our teachers, our loved ones framed on computer screens. We wonder: what can be next? What do we dream for the new year and the new epoch? 

Here on Routh Street, after forty years of path-breaking work, we are surely entering a new era. A new president steps forward humbly to take the reins, as a beloved teacher and devoted steward, Dr. Larry Allums, begins to contemplate his richly earned retirement.

2020 has been a year to test all our dreams — and even our capacity to dream. But at the Dallas Institute, we are stubborn (and admittedly rather unusual) in our commitment to the authentic and vital work that dreamers do. We unabashedly invite you to dream with us in 2021! Let us imagine again what magic might remain in that old and familiar phrase, “the American Dream.” Let us imagine anew the way we educate all our citizens, young and old; believers and nonbelievers; leftists and rightists and centrists. Let us think about how we might heal ourselves — our bodies and our body politic, our psyches and our schools — and how we might move forward in new hope. These are the kinds of dreams that awaken us to our own humanity, to the liveliness of culture.

To nurture these dreams — dreams of togetherness, dreams of healing — please consider including the Dallas Institute in your year-end giving. It’s worth noting that the IRS is offering special incentives for charitable contributions in this difficult year: even taxpayers who do not itemize their tax returns can qualify for deductions, and for those who do itemize, the IRS has suspended its limits on contributions. (Please do check with your accountant or the IRS website:

Thank you so much for joining us as we pursue our distinctive mission — to enrich the life of the city with the wisdom of the humanities, to enliven and deepen our culture.

We are grateful for your support, and we look forward to seeing you in 2021!


Seemee Ali, Ph.D.


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