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ANNOUNCING THE 2021 COHORT – March 15, 2021

On behalf of The OpEd Project, The Boone Family Foundation, and The Dallas Public Voices Leadership & Advisory Committee, we are thrilled to announce the twenty civic and social justice leaders selected for the seventh cohort of the Dallas Public Voices Fellowship, including four standout alumni, who will serve in a special role within the cohort and work alongside The OpEd Project team to ensure the continued success and legacy of the broader Dallas Public Voices initiative.

Meggie Abendschein Founder, Moxie Mouth

Elysse Alvarado Program Manager, The Trust for Public Land – Dallas

Amanda Arizola Vice President of Finance and Operations, Philanthropy Southwest; Alum Peer Coach

Denise Benavides Founder & Executive Director, La Monarca Foundation

Jarie Bradley Founder and CEO, Sound&Sable

Kristina Dove Independent Consultant, Community Power Consulting

Stephanie Drenka Communications Director, Dallas Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation; Alum Peer


Prisma Garcia Director of Capacity Building, SVP Dallas

Mona Kafeel Executive Director, Texas Muslim Women’s Foundation

Halima Leak Francis Public Administration Program Director & Professor of Practice, Tulane University;

Alum Peer Coach

Karla Loya-Stack Executive Director, Catch Up & Read

Bemnet Meshesha Senior Director, Girl Scouts of North East Texas; Alum Peer Coach

Nissy New Vice President of Operations, Metro Dallas Homeless Alliance

Kimberly O’Neil CEO, Giving Blueprint

Lisa Padilla Founder/CEO, Melba House Blessing Box

Maggie Parker Managing Partner & Founder, Innovan Neighborhoods

Jayashree Prasad-Sinha Climate Reality Leader, The Climate Reality Project

Satoria Ray Educator/Organizer, Dallas Independent School District

Cecilia Silva Texas Program Manager, ReflectUS

Lorena Tule-Romain Co-founder & Chief Strategy Officer, ImmSchools

The Dallas Public Voices Fellowship is part of an ambitious national initiative to change who writes history.  Launched by The OpEd Project in collaboration with a core group of institutional partners, including Yale University, the Ford Foundation and more than a dozen others, we have had extraordinary success accelerating the ideas and impact of new and necessary voices at the highest levels in their fields, including women of all backgrounds.

Fellows will receive extraordinary support, skills, and mentoring to ensure their ideas shape the critical public conversations of our age. Fellows from previous cohorts have published in high-impact venues, including The New York Times, The Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, the influential TED blog, and Huffington Post, among others. They have appeared on CNN, CNBC, NPR Radio and other broadcast outlets. They have given TED talks, briefed Congress, advised the White House, launched new research studies and centers, founded nonprofit organizations and community initiatives, and sparked national and international debate. They have surfaced and shared new ideas, forged deeply meaningful relationships across fields, generations and ideologies, and taken on new leadership roles in both their own lives and within the broader Dallas community. 

Following a tremendously competitive application process, we are pleased to announce the 2021 Dallas Public Voices Fellows and invite you to read more about their work below.

Congratulations incoming fellows! 

See bios here