FROSWA BOOKER-DREW Director of Community Affairs, State Fair of Texas
JESSICA DIXON WEAVER Associate Professor, SMU Dedman School of Law
HILLARY EVANS Public Policy Consultant, Leadership ISD
SADIE FUNK Executive Director, First3Years Texas
KAITLIN GUTHROW Executive Director, Reading Partners of North Texas
CHRISTINA HANGER Executive Director, Dallas Afterschool Network
ANNIE LORD Chief Program Officer, CitySquare
CANDICE LUCAS-BLEDSOE Graduate of Liberal Studies Faculty, Annette Caldwell Simmons School of Education
SARA MARTINEZ Justice for the Peace, Precinct 5 Dallas County
MARGO MCCLINTON STOGLIN Executive Director, IGNITE Texas
YULISE REAVES WATERS Assistant City Attorney & Community Courts Prosecutor, City of Dallas
ALIA SALEM Executive Director, Council of American-Islamic Relations Dallas-Fort Worth
JENNIFER SAMPSON McDermott-Templeton President and CEO, United Way of Metropolitan Dallas
ADITI SINHA Director of Diversity and Leadership, Teach for America
ELIZABETH SOBEL BLUM Senior Community Development Advisor, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas
EVA SZALKAI CSAKY Director, Hunt Institute for Engineering & Humanity
JAMILA THOMAS Coordinator for African American Success Initiate, Dallas ISD
MARIA GABRIELA VEGA Staff Attorney, Equal Justice Center
ANNIE WRIGHT Director of Evaluation, Southern Methodist University Center on Research & Evaluation
Froswa’ Booker-Drew, PhD has an extensive background in nonprofit management, partnership development, training and education. She is currently the Director of Community Affairs/Strategic Alliances for the State Fair of Texas. Formerly the National Community Engagement Director for World Vision, she served as a catalyst, partnership broker, and builder of the capacity of local partners in multiple locations across the US to improve and sustain the well- being of children and their families. She is the recipient of several honors including 2012 Outstanding African American Alumni Award from the University of Texas at Arlington, 2009 Woman of the Year Award by Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. and Diversity Ambassador for the American Red Cross. Froswa’ graduated with a PhD from Antioch University in Leadership and Change with a focus on social capital and relational leadership. She is the author of two workbooks for women, Ready for a Revolution: 30 Days to Jolt Your Life and Rules of Engagement: Making Connections Last. She was a Post-Doctoral Fellow at Antioch University and is an adjunct professor at Lancaster Bible College/Capital Seminary and the University of North Texas-Dallas. She is a writer for several publications around the world. We Might Not Have Justice, but We Still Have The Village
Jessica Dixon Weaver is an Associate Professor at Southern Methodist University Dedman School of Law where she teaches Family Law, Advanced Family Law, Children and the Law, and Professional Responsibility (Legal Ethics). She received her B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania and her J.D. from the University of Virginia School of Law. Professor Weaver served as the first Director of the W.W. Caruth, Jr. Child Advocacy Clinic at SMU from 2002-2009. She joined the tenure track faculty in 2009 and became the first African American female to earn tenure at the law school in 2015. Professor Weaver is an expert in child welfare law and public policy, and much of her scholarship focuses on theorizing methods for improvement of the legal systems and policies affecting families and children. Her current research and scholarship focus on the exploration of a theoretical basis to suppOli a unified legal approach to intergenerational care giving for children and senior citizens. She is also working on two academic course books, “Family Law Simulations: Bridge to Practice,” to be published by West Academic in 2017, and “Family Law: Cases and Materials,” to be published by Carolina Academic Press in 2017.  Police Training Should Start with History Lesson on Slavery LawsWhat The Cosby And Sandusky Cases Teach Us About Reporting Sexual Assault
Hillary Evans is a public policy leader committed to seeking just and equitable outcomes for underserved communities. She has worked at both the national and local levels on a variety of social justice issues including advocating for adequate legal services funding for low income people, creating greater access to justice for immigrant communities, and ending the school-to-prison pipeline. Hillary recently returned to her Texas roots after nearly two decades in Washington, DC. She is continuing policy work in the areas of school discipline, educational equity and reducing poverty in Dallas. Hillary received her law degree from Howard University and Bachelor of Arts degree in English from the College of William and Mary. She also holds a graduate certificate in nonprofit management from the Georgetown University Public Policy Institute.
Sadie Funk joined First3Years in 2013, and has since helped more than triple the impact of the organization by increasing programming and collaborative partnerships throughout the state. Her leadership has been critical in securing sustainable funding to increase the reach of the organization’s mission. Sadie serves on the University of Texas at Dallas — Center for Children and Families Advisory Board and the Children’s Commission Community Council. Sadie also serves on the Alliance for the Advancement of Infant Mental Health’s National Board. Sadie received a B.A. in Anthropology with Honors from Eckerd College and her M.S. in International Management from the University of Texas at Dallas. Sadie is Endorsed as an Infant Mental Health Mentor, Level IV-Policy.  Separating women and children at the border would be bad for them and for Texas
Kaitlin Guthrow has dedicated her career to improving access to quality educational opportunities for children, particularly young people of disenfranchised communities. She has over 15 years of experience in leadership, advocacy, development, and communication for non-profit organizations focused on child health, education, and well-being. Prior to becoming executive director of the North Texas region for Reading Partners, she worked in leadership roles at Communities in Schools of Central Texas and at Children’s Defense Fund of Texas, and she was the founding executive director of the Texas Early Childhood Education Coalition. For her successful advocacy efforts at the Texas state capitol, she was honored with the Pre-K Champion award from Pre-K Now as well as the Advocate of the Year award from the Texas Association for the Education of Young Children. A graduate of the Dallas Regional Chamber’s 2016 Leadership Dallas class, Kaitlin is committed to helping identify solutions to complex challenges facing the North Texas region. She received her master’s degree in social work from the University of Texas at Austin and her bachelor’s degree from Colby College in Waterville, Maine.
Christina Hanger is the CEO of Dallas Afterschool, a nonprofit that improves access to high quality afterschool and summer programs for children in low-income neighborhoods. Dallas Afterschool provides professional development for staff; on-site coaching, assessment and enrichment activities for approximately 135 partner sites that serve over 9,800 youth. Prior to leading Dallas Afterschool, Christina held executive positions in a wide range of technology companies, from venture backed software companies to Fortune 20 companies like HP and IBM. Christina holds an MBA from Wake Forest University and a BSME from Virginia Tech. She has served on the Boards of the Houston Chapter of the American Red Cross, the Houston Minority Business Council, Social Venture Partners Dallas and as Treasurer of the Dallas Regional Chamber’s Executive Women’s Roundtable. She was a member of the Leadership ISD class of 2015 and is currently in Leadership Dallas class of 2017.  Dallas Afterschool Steps into Next Decade With Eye on AccessThe True Meaning of Female Empowerment: The need for women in management roles
Annie Lord was born and raised in Miami, FL. As the daughter of a Cuban refugee, Annie developed a drive at an early age to help less fortunate families become more economically mobile. She earned a B.A. in Latin American studies from Harvard University, and a Master in Public Policy from Harvard Kennedy School. After her studies, Annie served as Development Director at the Latino Economic Development Corporation, where she helped low-income Latinos in Washington, DC improve their financial capability, purchase their first homes, and launch and grow businesses. Returning to Miami, Annie led the South Florida Community Development Coalition as Executive Director to build the capacity of nonprofit affordable housing developers and economic development organizations. Annie and her husband moved for his surgery residency to Dallas, where Annie became a grantmaker to community organizations as Citi’s Community Development Officer in North Texas. Annie is thrilled to now work alongside the neighbors of CitySquare, supporting a comprehensive array of services as Chief Program Officer.  AHCA will make our economy sick
Dr. Candice Lucas-Bledsoe is a faculty member at SMU’s Simmons School of Education and executive director of the Action Research Center in Dallas, Texas. Her research explores equity, access, and the experience of underrepresented students in higher education. She has received numerous fellowships including: The National Endowment of the Humanities, the New Leadership Academy, National Center for Institutional Diversity, University of Michigan, and Boone Texas Project for Human Rights Education. Dr. Bledsoe is the recipient of the 2013 SMU Women’s Symposium Profiles of Community Leadership Award. Dr. Bledsoe received a Doctorate in Education from The University of Southern California. She also holds degrees from Southern Methodist University and Baylor University. Tribute to Black Fathers
Judge Sara Martínez grew up as the youngest of six children in Pharr, Texas in the Rio Grande Valley. As the daughter of migrant farm workers, she learned the value of hard work and the importance of education as a pathway to success. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Chicano Studies from Loyola Marymount University and a Juris Doctorate from the University Of Southern California School Of Law. She received several Public Interest Law Foundation grants to provide legal services to underserved communities including the Central American Resource Center and the Bet Tzedek House of Justice. Upon relocating to Dallas, she opened a solo law practice and went on to serve as a Dallas County Public Defender. Judge Martinez was elected as Justice of the Peace for Precinct 5, Place 1 in November 2014 and took the bench on January 1, 2015. She presides over traffic, small claims, evictions and debt matters. Changing the Face of Power:  A Political Uprising
Margo McClinton Stoglin comes to IGNITE from a long career in the non-profit and educational sectors, with experience in operations, communications, fundraising, governance, and human resources. Margo has served in higher education positions at Paul Quinn College, Southern Methodist University, Washington and Lee University, Florida State University and Washington University in St. Louis. Margo holds a BA from Emory University, a Master’s in Education from Harvard University, a MBA from The University of Texas at Dallas, and a doctorate from Florida State University. You can reach Margo at margo@IGNITEnational.org. She is married with two children and enjoys movies, traveling and spending time with family and friends.  NFL Must Address Serious Issue of Head Trauma for My Father and Others
Yulise Reaves Waters, Esq., is an Assistant City Attorney and Community Courts Prosecutor for the City of Dallas. She is also co-founder and lead planner of the Second Chance Community Improvement Program Court, the first-ever felony community court in Dallas County awarded a 2016 Community Court Grant Program Award from the U.S. Department of Justice’s Bureau of Justice Assistance in partnership with the Center for Court Innovation. Prior to assuming her role with the City of Dallas, she was partner in Cox Waters, P.L.L.C., a boutique Dallas law firm specializing in family law, collaborative practice and mediation. A recipient of the Presidential Scholarship, Southern Methodist University’s highest academic scholarship, Waters earned a B.A. in English (magna cum laude) and in Spanish (magna cum laude) and a B.B.A. in Organizational Behavior and Business Policy (magna cum laude). Waters earned her J.D. from the Dedman School of Law at SMU. Named to the Dallas Business Journal’s “40 Under 40” Class of 2016, Waters’ name has twice been added to the City of Dallas’ Wall of Honor for meritorious service to the citizens of Dallas. She is a recipient of the History Maker Award of the Black Alumni of SMU, their highest honor.  Community Policing is not the Answer
Alia Salem is the Executive Director for the DFW Chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations and is a committed activist working for social justice, understanding and empowerment in her community. Her work with CAIR-DFW has been featured on local, national and international outlets such as WFAA, NBC, CBS, KERA, CNN, MSNBC, FOX, BBC, CCTV, CW33, Washington Post, Time Magazine, Al Jazeera, Univision and Telemundo. Alia graduated Cum Laude from the University of Texas at Arlington with a degree in Interdisciplinary Studies. Her three focuses of study are in Communications, Sociology and Religion/Culture with a minor in French. As an eighth generation Texan with Egyptian roots, Alia is a proud Fort Worth native and Dallas resident with strong ties to the entire DFW community.  ‘I’m Still An Optimist’: Muslim Leader Alia Salem On Activism, Confronting HateTexans Gone WildMuslim Americans must do politics like other Americans doMuslims in America: But is it a time of change?,  Don’t blame Trump for Portland killings,   Unjuk Rasa Anti-Muslim di AS Tuai Kecaman
Jennifer Sampson is the President & CEO of United Way of Metropolitan Dallas, the largest non-governmental funder of programs to improve education, income and health in North Texas. Jennifer’s vision for United Way includes integrating emerging fundraising markets, strategically incorporating innovative uses of technology, and strengthening collaborative partnerships throughout the region. Since her appointment as CEO in September 2011, Jennifer has built community confidence in United Way’s mission and impact priorities, and achieved unprecedented results in resource development. This catalytic approach to philanthropy is yielding organizational capacity, strategic value and efficiency for the donor community, while creating lasting social change. A committed community advocate, Jennifer has served in leadership roles for numerous organizations in the North Texas community throughout her career. She serves on the boards of the Commit! Partnership, City Year Dallas, and the Business and Community Advisory Council of the Dallas Federal Reserve Bank. She is a member of the Young President’s Organization, the International Women’s Forum Dallas, and the Dallas Charter 100. Jennifer was named the Women’s Council of Dallas County’s Woman of the Year, Dallas Regional Chamber Leadership Dallas Distinguished Alumnus, and was recognized with the Baylor Distinguished Alumni Award.  Summer is here.  And so is the importance of doing nothing.
Aditi Sinha is an educationist and social justice advocate with experience leading change management in education reform in both local and global contexts. After receiving her B.A. in Biology and Spanish from Case Western Reserve University, she started her career as a 2009 Teach For America charter corps member in Dallas. She taught 9th grade Biology and middle school ESL at Uplift Peak Preparatory, where she also launched an SAT Tutoring program for freshmen. She moved to Mumbai, India in 2011 to serve as a Program Manager with Teach For India where she managed a cohort of Fellows in government and low-income private schools in the slums of Mumbai. Currently, Aditi serves as inaugural Director, Diversity and Leadership at Teach For America Dallas-Fort Worth and leads Diversity, Equity, and Inclusiveness strategy and programming for the region. In this capacity, she launched a partnership with Border Crossers to deepen racial justice training for educators and the Race to Equity partnership with Leadership ISD to further the discourse on the intersection of race, class, and education. She was named Dallas Weekly’s Millennials to Watch in 2017, is a Fellow with Leadership ISD, and serves on the board of trustees of Rooted Foundation.
Elizabeth Sobel Blum is a senior community development advisor at the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, where she promotes community and economic development and fair and impartial access to credit. Her areas of focus include workforce development, health, early childhood education, community development finance and small business development. For example, Sobel Blum’s research, publications and collaborations help the Bank in its efforts to connect workforce development and health entities with the community and economic development sectors. Her publications include “Engaging Workforce Development: A Framework for Meeting Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) Obligations,” “Regional Talent Pipelines: Collaborating with Industry to Build Opportunities in Texas” and “Healthy Communities: A Framework for Meeting CRA Obligations.” Sobel Blum serves on the boards of national nonprofit ChangeLab Solutions and the Texas nonprofit First3Years. She earned an MBA from the University of Texas at Dallas, an MA from American University and a BA from Northwestern University.  Honoring Fathers When Black Lives Don’t Matter
Eva Szalkai Csaky is the Director of the Hunt Institute for Engineering & Humanity and Research Professor where she works closely with partners in academia, the private sector and not-for- profit organizations to develop projects and initiatives that benefit disadvantaged communities in Dallas and around the world. Prior to joining SMU, Eva worked for the World Bank Group for 18 years with a focus on market-based solutions for environmental and social problems. She led the design and implementation of projects in 24 different countries around the world and led programs in areas including energy efficiency, renewable energy, clean water access, sustainable value chains and climate smart small and medium enterprises. Eva’s work received multiple awards and she was also the recipient of the first IFC/World Bank Innovation Award. She was also selected for the IFC’s Women’s Leadership Group and Corporate Leadership Group. Eva has a BS in Finance from the Budapest Business School, an MS in Finance from the George Washington University, an MA in Public Policy from Duke University and is completing her PhD in Public Policy with focus on globalization and development at Duke University.
Jamila Thomas, native of Dallas, Texas, is a motivational speaker, author and entrepreneur. Her education includes: Florida A&M University, undergraduate degree in Business Administration, Masters of Business of Administration (MBA); and a Master of Arts degree in Divinity from The University of Chicago Divinity School. In 2009, Jamila founded a 501c3 organization called WOMEN DIVINE. The mission is to impact the lives of young women through academic enhancement and leadership development. She founded WOMEN DIVINE INSTITUTE, LLC a consulting firm that provides strategic development initiatives to various entities. As Coordinator for Dallas ISD African American Success Initiative, she creates innovative strategies to close the achievement gap. Recently, she served as Pastor of Outreach for St. Luke “Community” United Methodist Church, and managed ministries such as social services, prison ministry and other impactful justice ministries. In 2015, she the founded the Mosaic Purse Ministry to serve homeless women and families to help them regain their dignity. She is a Board Member for the Friends of the Dallas Public Library in 2016 and a member of the 2015 Leadership Dallas ISD class. She recently won the 2015 WOMAN of the YEAR award from the South Central Dallas Business and Professional Women’s Club.  Blackboy, KilljoySchool choice? Some kids don’t have one
Gabriela Vega is an attorney with the Equal Justice Center, a non-profit law firm dedicated to enforcing the employment rights of low-wage workers, regardless of immigration status. She is currently leading a new legal services project focused on combating workplace sexual violence and the adverse employment effects that all too often result from a sexual assault, irrespective of where the assault occurs. Prior to joining the Equal Justice Center, Gabriela practiced complex commercial litigation with an international law firm in Houston and Dallas, Texas. She has also served as a federal judicial clerk in Brownsville, Texas. Born in Nicaragua, Gabriela immigrated to the United States as a young child. She graduated summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts in International Relations, Spanish and French from the Ohio State University. She earned her law degree from Harvard Law School, where she was a student in the Harvard Immigration Clinic and served as Co-President of the Harvard Immigration Project.
Annie Wright is the Director of Evaluation at the Center on Research & Evaluation (CORE) at SMU. She supervises a team working on multiple community based research and program evaluation projects on early childhood education, early literacy, after & summer school, social & emotional learning, and related professional development and capacity building initiatives. Her work has a local focus, working largely with partners in the DFW area, with some state of TX partnerships emerging as well. Her educational background is in Psychology and Urban Studies with a PhD in Clinical-Community Psychology. These fields emphasize social justice and eschew the concept of a value-free scientist, instead encouraging the use of active, empowering, participatory and mixed methods research to promote specific and evidence-based social change.     Dallas Afterschool Steps into Next Decade With Eye on Access