Dallas Public Voices – 2019 COHORT

Amanda Arizola Assistant Director, Dallas Community Tax Centers
Diana Ayala Director of External Affairs, Ntarupt
Yvette BlairLavallais Reverend, Her Sisters Situation Ministry
Anna Clark Co-founder, Inclusive Economy Consortium
Lindsey Cooper Managing Director of People Strategy, Teach For America Dallas Fort Worth
Stephanie Drenka Visual Storyteller, Dallas Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation
Aidee Granados Founder & CEO, Rosa Es Rojo, Inc.
Tina Green Assistant Director, Urban Teachers
Iram Hasan Director of Development & Alumni Relations, The University of Texas
Olga Martinez Hickman Executive Director, Bachman Lake Together
Tiffany Huitt Executive Director, Dallas ISD
Amy Jones CEO, Dallas Area Rape Crisis Center
Michelle Kinder Social Change Leadership Program
Anyika McMillanHerod Artist/Director/Fundraiser, Soul Rep Theatre Company
Karen Quintero Community Organizer, Jolt TX
Jennifer Rangel Planning and Community Outreach Director, Inclusive Communities Project
Joli Robinson Manager of Community Engagement, Dallas Police Department
Alia Salem Founder & Executive Director, Facing Abuse in Community Environments
VR Small Founder & Executive Director, Veteran Women’s Enterprise Center
Ebony Smith Founder, Yoga N Da Hood
Yulise Reaves Waters Director of Dallas County Programs, Lone Star Justice Alliance

Dallas Public Voices Fellows – 2019

AMANDA ARIZOLA is the Assistant Director for the Dallas Community Tax Centers, a program of Foundation Communities that offers working families and individuals the opportunity to reach financial stability through free financial services. Arizola has previously served as program manager for financial stability at Catholic Charities of Fort Worth and was the state program director for the Consumer Health Insurance Marketplace and Enrollment Services (CHIMES) Consortium at United Way of Tarrant County in Fort Worth. A graduate of University of Texas at Austin, Amanda earned a double Bachelor of Arts degree in government and Mexican American studies. She also earned a double Master of Business Administration and Master of Health Systems Management degree from Texas Woman’s University in 2010. She currently serves as the vice chair of development for the Mayor’s Star Council, a professional leadership development organization in Dallas. She is also a member of the Hispanic Scholarship Fund’s Dallas/Fort Worth Advisory Board and the Community Advisory Board for KERA/KXT, a PBS affiliate in Dallas/Fort Worth.

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DIANA AYALA has ten years’ experience in management and director level positions in the Dallas nonprofit sector; specifically in community mobilization and partnerships, program development and management, advocacy, sustainability, fundraising, external communications, and public relations. She has worked for Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas, Jubilee Park and Community Center, and Ntarupt. She served for three years on the White Rock Y Board of Directors. Diana is fluent in Spanish, and is currently pursuing a Master of Public Affairs at the University of Texas at Dallas.

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REV YVETTE BLAIR-LAVALLAIS is a candidate for the Doctor of Ministry in Land, Food and Faith Formation at Memphis Theological Seminary. Her work focuses on the intersection of food insecurity, famines, displacement and gentrification of black, brown and indigenous peoples. Yvette is a 2018 academic fellow of Vanderbilt Divinity School’s Public Theology and Racial Justice Collaborative cohort, a 2017 academic fellow of Princeton Theological Seminary’s prestigious Black Theology and Leadership Institute. She is also a 2013 Magna Cum Laude graduate of Perkins School of Theology at SMU. She was invited and presented her paper, “Where Do We Go From Here: When the Church Disturbs the Status Quo” at the National Civil Rights Museum as part of their MLK 50 Memphis Teach-In. She is a native of Dallas, Texas, holds a BA in Journalism from the University of North Texas, and has more than 25 years of experience in media, corporate communications, public relations and non-profit, including receiving a congressional appointment to serve as the Public Relations Specialist at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC. She is a writing coach, professional editor, pastor and food justice activist.

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ANNA CLARK is the co-founder of the Inclusive Economy Consortium and a fellow of the Hunt Institute for Engineering and Humanity at Southern Methodist University. In partnership with the Institute, Anna researches the intersection of corporate social responsibility (CSR), social enterprise and inclusive business. She was also a key organizer of the Institute’s “Climate Extremes” conference, the largest event on the issue ever to be hosted in Dallas. In 2005, Anna founded EarthPeople Media, a sustainability communication consultancy serving clients including JCPenney, Southern Methodist University, and the private sector arm of The World Bank, just to name a few. In 2017, Anna joined Hill+Knowlton Strategies as a principal, where she provides senior counsel in corporate affairs, CSR and reputation management to industry leaders in commercial real estate, consumer products, technology and other sectors. An author and speaker, Anna writes the Eco-Leadership column on Greenbiz.com and has contributed to The Guardian, Al Jazeera English, Huffington Post, The Christian Science Monitor and The Dallas Morning News. Anna holds a B.A. in government from the University of Texas at Austin and an M.A. in communication from Johns Hopkins University.  ALUMNI PEER COACH – TEXAS WOMAN’S UNIVERSITY PUBLIC VOICES FELLOWSHIP 2012

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LINDSEY COOPER joined the inaugural Teach For America Dallas-Fort Worth team in 2009. Over the past decade, Lindsey has worked relentlessly as a teacher coach, designer and trainer of adult learning, and people manager and leader in the education and non-profit spaces. Here she has lived out her passion for supporting and enabling others to share their gifts, talents, and purpose to make positive impact on the world. In her most current role as Managing Director, People Strategy, Lindsey is responsible for ensuring that Teach For America Dallas – Fort Worth’s people are uplifted, equipped, and empowered to make radical change in our education system. She does this by leading a human assets team to design programmatic infrastructure, to deepen leadership’s capacities, and to foster conditions for a work environment centered on equity and inclusion. Prior to Teach For America, Lindsey served as a bilingual early childhood educator focused on preparing our youngest minds for tomorrow and instilling a true love of learning. When she’s not revolutionizing the workplace, you can find Lindsey with her family, exercising, reading, or traveling. She currently resides in Southeast Dallas with her husband, Ryan, and their son, Atles.

 

STEPHANIE DRENKA is a visual storyteller and communications strategist with a heart for social justice. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Communication from DePaul University, with minors in Asian American Studies and Women’s Studies. Stephanie’s photography and writing have been featured in Washington Post, Huffington Post, USA Today, and ABC News. Previously the Senior Communications Manager at Big Thought, a Dallas non-profit organization, Stephanie was able to leverage her passion for the performing arts, visual communications, and technology to promote creative educational programs for youth. Inspired to tell more stories of the incredible community work happening in the city, she left the organization to form her own business, SD Media LLC. As a committed advocate for social justice, access, and representation, Stephanie’s work is done through a lens of intersectional feminism and racial equity.

Sa-I-Gu

Leveraging Influence for Impact

Lost and Found: The Heritage of Adoption

I’m Adopted And Pro-Choice. Stop Using My Story For The Anti-Abortion Agenda.

Representation Matters For Asian Americans In Hollywood And Beyond

Adopted Dallas Writer Explains Why She’s Pro-Choice

It’s time to be unified in our outrage

What Adoption Taught Me About Family Separation

Why do you do what you do?

The Long and Winding Road to Women’s Suffrage

 

AIDEE GRANADOS In 2004, Aidee Granados was part of Altius Foundation. She directed the operation of 25 schools in Latin America and the Philippines for underprivileged children. In 2010, a friend of hers invited Aidee to found ADVENIO Corporate Daycare. ADVENIO was created as a corporate model where she helped companies drive the retention and growth of their top female leaders and helping build strong families. Due to Aidee’s cancer treatments (2013-2014) and family relocation to the US (2012), she sold her part of the company in 08/2013.  Aidee decided to share her wealth of knowledge and experience as a cancer survivor professionally. Aidee founded Rosa Es Rojo as a 501(c)(3) to make wellness and cancer prevention accessible for the Latinas living in America, starting in North TX, by training them on the topics of nutrition, physical activity, emotional health and positive thinking. Aidee is also a certified health coach and brings more than 20 years of experience in the operations of projects within the sectors of hospitality services, education and nonprofits. As of today, Rosa Es Rojo is touching the lives of almost 500 Latinas and their families, delivering more than 4,500 hours of training in North TX.

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TINA GREEN is the Assistant Director at Urban Teachers, a non-profit teacher preparation program that is dedicated to ensuring students have qualified and highly effective teachers in their classrooms. Originally from Iowa, Tina is the daughter of a single mother who was a Laotian refugee during the Vietnam War. Additionally, she is a first generation college graduate whose immersion in the immigrant and refugee community shaped her passion for service and advocacy at an early age. Tina began her teaching career in 2007 as a Teach for America Corps Member in New York City, and immediately knew that she wanted to pursue a career in education. Before entering the education non-profit sector, Tina worked for eleven years as a teacher, instructional coach, intervention specialist, consultant, and school administrator. She had the opportunity through various grants to travel to Brazil and Finland to study their education systems, and was invited to share her experiences at a U.S. State Department conference that highlighted the importance of global perspectives and empathy in our classrooms. Tina graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in International Studies and Political Science from the University of Iowa and earned her Masters of Teaching degree from Pace University in New York City.

Mother’s Day can be joyous for pregnant women. But it can be painful for expecting mothers with depression.

Disney’s Aladdin: Representation for a new generation

Confronting the School-to-Prison Pipeline in the Classroom

IRAM HASAN is a development professional for The University of Texas at Dallas Jonsson School of Engineering and Computer Science. Her role is to enable access and provide opportunities for underrepresented students to pursue careers in the STEM fields as well as support world-renowned faculty as they work on groundbreaking research to advance solutions to society’s most critical challenges. While at the university, Iram had the opportunity to launch the school’s first ever engineering and computer science program targeted towards non-profit agencies, The Engineering Projects in Community Service or EPICS program. EPICS is a service learning design program where undergraduate students work on multidisciplinary teams to solve real problems faced by non-profits at no cost to the agency. Now in its fourth year, EPICS has partnered with over 22 organizations and worked on over 30 projects. Prior to Iram’s role at the university, she worked at the United Way of Metropolitan Dallas as well as the Wilkinson Center, where she worked with students through their afterschool programs. Prior to moving to Dallas, Iram worked with the congressional representatives from Southern California, focusing on immigration issues as well as providing direction on issues related to the Muslim community.

Not My Party

 

OLGA HICKMAN is the first Executive Director of Bachman Lake Together, the collective impact organization designed to provide the children a strong foundation for the first five years so they can thrive in school and life. Previously, Dr. Hickman served as the Director of Programs and Partnerships for Read Fort Worth. Her work supported the goal of increasing 3rd grade literacy for all students in the Fort Worth Independent School District. She has numerous years of experience that include supporting statewide literacy initiatives across the Texas. Her background includes knowledge in leadership, literacy, and second language acquisition for diverse learners. She holds two Master of Arts degrees, one in Reading and one in Educational Leadership. In 2014, Dr. Martinez Hickman received her PhD in K-16 Research, Policy, and Leadership from the University of Texas at Arlington. Her research interests focus on communities of color, which will support her aim to ensure that all students receive a fair and equitable high quality education.

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TIFFANY HUITT is currently the Executive Director of Magnet schools in Dallas ISD. For over five years, Tiffany Huitt served as the principal of the School of Science and Engineering, at the Yvonne A. Ewell Townview Magnet Center. Ms. Huitt began her career in the Dallas Independent School District as a science teacher at the Dallas Environmental Science Academy (DESA) in 1999. She left the classroom to become a Lead Science Teacher/ Instructional Coach/ Instructional Supervisor. While holding the aforementioned positions, she developed science curriculum, assessments and professional development for K-12 science courses. She was also assigned to the lowest performing schools within Dallas ISD. As a result of her successes, she partnered with universities and worked as a consultant with several school districts throughout the state of Texas to improve teaching quality. Her most recent roles include, serving on the Leadership Council for the Global Learning Network, the NSTA STEM EXPO National Steering Committee, and the Board of Directors for the National Consortium of Secondary Stem Schools (NCSSS). Ms. Huitt serves on several local committees to influence educational policy in all arenas. This includes her current role as the President for the Dallas School Administrators Association (DSAA). Ms. Huitt received her undergraduate degree from Paul Quinn College and her Master’s Degree from University of Texas At Arlington.

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AMY JONES For almost two decades, Amy Jones has been an advocate for survivors of interpersonal violence. She began to explore the impact of sexual and domestic violence early in her career as an intern for an international mission agency working in Kiev, Ukraine where the rates of sexual and domestic violence are drastically underreported and services are extremely limited. Upon her return to the states, she earned a master’s degree in professional counseling and has since worked with individuals and families who have experienced traumatic life circumstances such as homelessness, childhood abuse, sexual assault, and domestic violence. She is licensed in the state of Texas as a Professional Counselor and Board Approved Counselor Supervisor. Currently, Amy serves as the Chief Executive Officer for the Dallas Area Rape Crisis Center (DARCC). DARCC is the only comprehensive freestanding crisis center serving teen and adult survivors of sexual violence in Dallas County. She conducts trainings nationally on issues related to interpersonal violence: creating awareness and prevention, clinical tools to address trauma, effective crisis response, the impact of sexual assault and domestic violence and more.

Ending Sexual Violence Should Be a Global Priority

MICHELLE KINDER is with Social Change Leadership Program. She has worked in the field of children’s mental health for more than 20 years and is a Licensed Professional Counselor. She graduated from Baylor University with a bachelor’s degree in Theatre Arts and the University of Texas with a master’s degree in Educational Psychology. Under Michelle’s leadership, Momentous Institute was named in 2016 as one of the top 100 Best Workplaces for Women by Fortune magazine and Great Place to Work and, in 2017, one of the 50 Best Workplaces in Texas. Michelle is a fellow of the Op-Ed Project and has articles featured in TIME, Washington Post, Texas Tribune, Dallas Morning News, Mindful Magazine, Huffington Post and PBS’ Next Avenue. She is a nationally recognized speaker on leadership, outsmarting stress, social emotional health and parenting. Michelle is a member of the Stagen Leadership Academy and the Leadership Dallas Alumni Association. She serves on the Episcopal School of Dallas Board of Directors and on the PNC Grow Up Great Advisory Council. CNM Connect honored Michelle as 2015’s CEO of the Year. She grew up in Guatemala and is fluent in Spanish. She lives in Dallas, Texas with her husband, Patrick, and their two daughters, Maya and Sophia.  ALUMNI PEER COACH – DALLAS PUBLIC VOICES FELLOWSHIP 2016

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Texas is no. 1 in business and no. 41 in child welfare, and that’s not sustainable

 

ANYIKA MCMILLAN-HEROD is Co-Founder and Managing Director of Soul Rep Theatre Company. She is a playwright, poet, author, director, actress, and development professional. Herod, a Dallas native and alum of Booker T. Washington High School, holds a BFA in Theater from Prairie View A&M University and studied acting in California Institute of the Arts’ MFA program. Her recent directing credits for Soul Rep include Bourbon at the Border, Yellowman, and Regina Taylor’s The Trinity River Plays. As a playwright, most recently, Herod’s play about the journey through breast cancer, The Monarch, made its world premiere in June 2018, in a co-production with Echo Theater Company. She adapted two Latin American short stories by Juan Rulfo and Alfredo Cardona Peña for Teatro Dallas’ 2017 Day of the Dead production –An Evening With Two Giants. Additionally, Anyika debuted three new short plays in 2017, two in Soul Rep’s Southside Stories Festival and the other, Migration, in House Party Theater’s Damnsels! Play Festival. Herod worked as a journalist early in her career, as Feature Writer and Editor of The Dallas Examiner and as a freelance writer for local African-American publications. Herod is also Sr. Director of Philanthropy for St. Philip’s School and Community Center.

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KAREN QUINTERO is a community organizer for Jolt Texas. She started her career as a volunteer with Jolt, and now leads a Leadership Institute taught all over the state. As a community organizer, she trains volunteers and creates safe spaces for latinx people throughout North Texas. She mentors and advises students in forming their own Jolt chapters on college campuses. In the past year, she has collaborated with the world-renowned artist JR & his Inside Out Project, for a voter registration campaign showing the new faces of voting in North Texas. She also planned and executed an event featured in a Time Magazine cover piece about Latino voter mobilization during the 2018 midterms. A Mexican immigrant herself, she is passionate about immigration rights, has labored extensively with the Dallas immigrant community and in the past worked as a Bilingual Advocate for Dallas CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates). She has been a panelist for CitizenFest and TCU’s Black & Brown Unity Panel. Karen holds a BA in Public Affairs and Community Service from the University of North Texas.

 

JENNIFER RANGEL is a recent graduate from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where she earned her Master’s degree in City and Regional Planning. Prior to attending UNC, she graduated from Texas A&M University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Recreation Park and Tourism Sciences and a minor in Urban Planning and Sociology. Jennifer, a Dallas native and product of Oak Cliff, always remained involved in her community despite being in a different city or state. Jennifer became co-founder of the Moisés E. Molina High School Alumni Association which serves the school, alumni, and the surrounding neighborhood. Today she serves as the Planning and Community Outreach Director at the Inclusive Communities Project (ICP). Jennifer helps lead ICP’s efforts under the Neighborhood Equity and Options Program. Jennifer is thankful to be back in Oak Cliff and to be able to help communities throughout the City of Dallas.

Question Your Surroundings

Dallas must focus on preserving the 10th Street historic district

JOLI ANGEL ROBINSON is the Manager for The Office of Community Affairs and the Youth Outreach Unit at the Dallas Police Department. Her desire for service in the community led her to take a leap of faith from the private sector to join the Dallas Police Department in 2013. She manages a team of Police Officers and Non-Sworn Outreach Representatives. Along with her team, she has been an integral part of furthering the mission of the Dallas Police Department by seeking to establish a proactive, continuous, and positive relationship with the Dallas community. Joli graduated from Dallas Baptist University with a Bachelors of Art and Science in Sociology and Communication and a graduate degree in Communications specializing in Organizational Communication Management. She is continuing her road to higher education by pursuing an EdD in Organizational Change & Leadership at the University of Southern California. Joli is passionate about the Dallas community she serves. She spent several years volunteering as a Court Appointed Special Advocate with Dallas CASA where she advocated on behalf of abused and neglected children as they moved through the foster care system. Currently, Joli volunteers at Roosevelt High School where she serves as the Chair of the Site-Based Decision Making Team and is the Co-Chair for the local Truth, Racial Healing, & Transformation efforts in Dallas.  ALUMNI PEER COACH – DALLAS PUBLIC VOICES FELLOWSHIP 2015

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ALIA SALEM is the Founder and President of FACE (Facing Abuse in Community Environments). Her professional background is in organizational development, community organizing, and communications with a particular focus on the intersections of institutionalized racism and the push towards an equitable pluralistic society. Alia currently serves on the 2019 steering committee for REAL City, a racial justice fellowship for millennial professionals. She is also a board member for the North Texas Fair Housing Center and the newest member of the board for the Dallas Peace and Justice Center. She is the former Executive Director for the DFW Chapter of CAIR and is a 14-year veteran of community work within the broader DFW Metroplex. Alia is a published writer and public speaker and her work has been featured on numerous local, national, and international outlets. She is a graduate of UT Arlington with a degree in Interdisciplinary Studies with her three focuses of study being in Communications, Sociology and Religion/Culture.  ALUMNI PEER COACH – DALLAS PUBLIC VOICES FELLOWSHIP 2017

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VR SMALL After returning home to Dallas, VR Small immediately put her business skills to use supporting women via SCORE and WINGS. She continually focuses her energy on developing innovative programs for women, veterans and small business owners—turning visions into realities as the Founder and Executive Director for the Veteran Women’s Enterprise Center (VWEC). An advocate for women veterans, VR testified in support of the original House Bill to make June 12, Women Veterans Day in Texas, and in collaboration with the groundbreaking for the VWEC, she organized a 2017 Women Veterans Day celebration supported by women veterans across the region. In 2018, VR Chaired the Dallas Planning Committee for the first official State of Texas, Women Veterans Day, celebrating the 70th Anniversary of the 1948 Women’s Armed Services Integration Act. Actively involved with women, veteran and small business support, VR serves on the Advisory Committee for Texas Woman’s University, Center for Women in Business and is a Fellow at Southern Methodist University, Hunt Institute for Engineering and Humanity. Currently, she serves on the 30th Congressional District, Veteran Advisory Committee and supports several local Veteran Coalitions. Most importantly, VR is a U.S. Navy Veteran, proud stepdaughter and sister to U.S. Army Vietnam & Iraq Veterans respectively.

 

EBONY SMITH, a.k.a ‘The Ghetto Guru’ is a certified Trauma Informed Yoga Therapist, Neuro Language Practitioner and Wellness Coach, 500 RYT. Founder and CEO of Yoga N Da Hood a non-profit organization dedicated to making wellness accessible to everyone through the practice of yoga and mindfulness. Cultivating socially and emotionally developed schools, corporations, and communities. Originally from Dallas, Texas Ebony overcame a rocky and turbulent childhood and young adult life until she found yoga in her late twenties during her pregnancy. Ebony founded her non-profit ‘Yoga N Da Hood’ where she offers free yoga and meditation classes.  The organization trains teachers, parents, and administrators how to implement mindfulness in their professional and personal lives. Ebony teaches people in underserved communities the art of self-healing and self love through the practice of yoga and mindfulness. Ebony has taught yoga and mindfulness all around the world, Wanderlust, Wellspring, Bali Spirit Festival, South By South West SXSW, Essence Festival and a number of other festivals, conferences and events.

The Breath

We Need Yoga for Traumatized Kids

YULISE REAVES WATERS, Esq. is the Director of Dallas County Programs for Lone Star Justice Alliance, where she oversees the programmatic, data, and community engagement aspects of the Second Chance Community Improvement Program (SCCIP). Previously, Waters was an Assistant City Attorney for the City of Dallas where she co-founded SCCIP, which was awarded the 2018 National Association of Drug Court Professionals’ Equity and Inclusion Award. Prior to the City of Dallas, Waters was partner in Cox Waters, P.L.L.C., a boutique Dallas law firm specializing in family law, collaborative practice and mediation. Waters holds B.A. degrees in English and Spanish, a B.B.A. in Organizational Behavior and Business Policy, and a Juris Doctorate, all from Southern Methodist University. A member of the Inaugural Emerging Leader Board at Dedman School of Law, she holds memberships in the Bar of Texas, the Dallas Bar Association, and the J. L. Turner Legal Association. Waters serves on the boards of POETIC Trauma Therapy Center and Creative Arts Studio, Family Gateway, and on the advisory board of the ARK (Adults Relating to Kids) Group. Named “One-to-Watch” by SMU Magazine, Waters is a recipient of the History Maker Award of the Black Alumni of SMU. She has been named to the Dallas Business Journal’s “40 Under 40”, to Who’s Who in Black Dallas, and to the City of Dallas’ Wall of Honor. A Dallas Public Voices Fellow, Waters’ commentary on race, justice, and policing has been featured on nationally syndicated radio programs, and her published columns in major U.S. city newspapers.  ALUMNI PEER COACH – DALLAS PUBLIC VOICES FELLOWSHIP 2017

Here’s what 5 true leaders want to see from Dallas’ next mayor