November 12, 2010
BigTent Conference Attracts Houston Mayor, Bush Administration Official, Drummer for Prince

MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. (Nov. 12, 2010) – Big names with big hearts and big voices for kids will gather under a virtual “big tent” when Search Institute  hosts the “first of its kind” BigTent Conference in Houston Nov. 18-20 with support from many strategic partners and sponsors. 

The BigTent Conference, which will be held at the George R. Brown Convention Center, features more than 150 presentations and workshops focused on collaborative and effective solutions that will make a meaningful difference for youth throughout America and internationally.   The conference appeals to teachers, school administrators, business and community leaders, elected officials, faith-based organizations, youth programs, child psychologists, family counselors, parents and students.  

Scholarships to cover registration fees for all conference workshops and events are still available for students aged 10 to 18.  Registration fees range from $395 for students and seniors to $595 for adults for all conference events. The registration fee is only $59 for the final day, Saturday, Nov. 20.  Discounts of 10 to 25 percent are available for groups of six or more.  Attendees can register online through Nov. 17 or at the convention center. 

Some of the key presenters and performers in the BigTent lineup include:

  • The Honorable Annise Parker, Mayor of the City of Houston\
  • Henry C. Lozano, executive director of the Shinnyo-en Foundation,  former deputy assistant to President George W. Bush and director of USA Freedom Corps
  • Michael Holthouse, founder of Holthouse Foundation for Kids, inventor of Lemonade Day,  a chairman level sponsor of the BigTent Conference, and past Inc. Magazine Entrepreneur of the Year
  • John-Anthony Meza, Corporate Voices for Working Families, moderator, with panelists Mayerland Harris, H-E-B;  Dean Kephart, Target Corporation;  Emily Talley, Capital One; and Bill Young, MillerCoors for “Best Practices: Business Impacting Future Generations”
  • About 100 cheerleaders from Lamar High School, an International Baccalaureate World School that is student-centered and based in Houston
  • Cora Dunham, drummer for the recording artist Prince, native Houstonian and graduate of Kashmere High School
  • Roberto Rivera, president of The Good Life Organization and Hip Hop artist
  • David Walsh, Ph.D. and Erin Walsh, M.A., speakers on youth and families
  • Rev. Alfonso Wyatt., vice president of the Fund for the City of New York
  • Tristan Love, student at Wiley College  (home of the Great Debaters), previously involved in drugs and gang activities
  • Clifton Taulbert, president of The Building Community Institute and a Pulitzer-nominated author
  • Kathleen Cushman, journalist, author, and co-founder of  What Kids Can Do
  • Joe Castillo, internationally known artist and storyteller, leader of SandStory performance
  • Lone Star Attitude, a unique, live show that pays tribute to the legends of Texas music -  from Stevie Ray Vaughn and ZZ Top to Waylon and Willie
  • The Septien Entertainment Group, the music industry's top training facility; offers  private and group classes, camps and workshops on singing, songwriting, guitar, keyboarding, drums, mixing, artist promotion and stage presence.

Please visit  for a full program guide, lists of all partners and sponsors, and video messages from Boy Scouts of America, Girl Scouts of USA, the National 4H Council, and the American Association of School Administrators. 

About Search Institute

Search Institute is an independent non-profit organization whose mission is to provide leadership, knowledge, and resources to promote healthy children, youth, schools, and communities. Search Institute bases its work on 40 Developmental Assets -- positive experiences and personal qualities that young people need to succeed in addition to academic training. For more information, please visit