MRS. KATHRYN MITCHELL
Mrs. Kathryn Mitchell has been of benefit to society for 100 years and is still going strong as she celebrates her 100th birthday on July 1, 2021! Last month at their monthly meeting, members of the South Dallas Business and Professional Women’s Club celebrated her birthday with their charter member. A member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., Parent Teachers Association and SDBPWC; Mrs. Mitchell was born in Tyler, Texas and attended Texas College before pursuing her masters degree at Texas Southern University. A long-time educator; the elementary school teacher, who made her mark in the classroom and the civil rights movement started out teaching at C.F. Carr Elementary. There’s so much more that can be said about this trailblazer. Her’s is a story of triumph and resilience. Today we salute her and the work she has done. Her legacy is definitely intact and her life is an example for others to follow!
MARVA J. SNEED
Marva J. Sneed is a former model and licensed Nail Technician for over 30 years. She was a Salon Business Owner, Makeup Artist and Skin Care Specialist. Marva has also developed her own skin care products, Spectrum Cosmetics. Marva is the host of “From Marva with Love” on BlogTalkRadio.com/Cheryl’s World. Tune in Fridays at 11 am on Facebook! She is the Editorial Assistant at I Messenger Media L.L.C. – parent company of Texas Metro News, Garland Journal and I Messenger. If you want to know what’s going on and where, throughout the Metroplex, or you want your event featured; you need to be acquainted with Marva. In addition to compiling information and designing the Community Calendar, Marva attends events across the DFW Metroplex; reporting, conducting interviews and taking pictures. She is a member of the National Association of Black Journalists, Dallas-Fort Worth Association of Black Journalists and she attends Inspiring Body of Christ. Born in Longview, Texas, Marva grew up in California. A wife and mother, and grandmother to seven, who affectionately call her “Queenie;” she loves to shop, socialize and decorate.
Kimberly Alexander is the founder of the consulting firm, KimConnect. A widowed mother of two, Kimberly stays on the go! She’s a Florida native and attended the University of Florida before receiving her degree in journalism from the University of Colorado at Boulder. Certified in non-profit management, she is a founding board member of Off the Field, Player’s Wives Association (OTF); where she coordinated projects with Habitat for Humanity, The Salvation Army, and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. A cancer advocate, Kimberly supports the International Myeloma Foundation and the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society – North Texas Chapter. She navigates a busy schedule that includes a rigorous exercise regimen that includes showcasing her talents as an aerialist. A member of the National Association of Black Journalists and a board member of the D-FW Association of Black Journalists, Kimberly works with the Dallas area Wives of Active & Retired NFL Players. She is the co-host of The G.A.M.E. with Timm Matthews on FM105.3, since 2012. Of the show, she says “I talk sports with the fellas…the lone female in the studio, holding my ground. I insert some much- needed femininity & soundness when they act up!”
Tashara Parker arrived in Dallas in 2019 to join WFAA-TV 8 as an anchor and reporter covering traffic, breaking news and inspirational stories. Tashara holds a bachelor’s degree in communications from Texas A&M University and she received her master’s degree in journalism from DePaul University in Chicago, Ill. A loyal member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., Tashara has studied abroad at Universidad Latinoamericana de Ciencia y Tecnologia, the University of Westminster and Universidad de Quintana Roo.
She has been an adjunct professor at Tyler Junior College and worked at CBS 19 in Tyler and KAGS- TV in Bryan College. She was the Junior League of Tyler’s VP of Marketing & Communications and Director of Media Relations at Unique Starz Sports and Entertainment. Yes, she is well-rounded, well- versed and carrying receipts in more than one language! Additionally, she volunteered with Boys & Girls Clubs of America, Chicago Cares. People around the world are paying attention to her “Bun Ministry” as she spreads a positive message about natural hair and the Crown Act. Boasting East Texas roots, this social media influencer hails from Houston and has been recognized as the 2020 Best Broadcast Journalist by the Dallas Weekly.
JUDGE LISA GREEN
Judge Lisa Green is making her mark in the halls of justice. Born in San Antonio, Texas, she received her Bachelor and Master Degrees and Juris Doctor from St. Mary’s University. She began her legal career with Legal Aid of Northwest Texas, Inc. as a staff attorney and served a decade in the Dallas County Public Defender’s Office before being elected Presiding Judge of County Criminal Court #5 in 2014 and re-elected in 2018. In 2016, Judge Green created the Green Y.A.R.D. (Young Adult Redirection and Diversion) program, which empowers young adults who are first time offenders. She and three other judges also created the Pipeline to Possibilities program. A member of the National Association of Women Judges, the Dallas Bar Association, the Dallas Women Lawyer’s Association, the J.L. Turner Legal Association and the National Association of Blacks in Criminal Justice; the judge is also a member of the Omicron Mu Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., Christians in Public Service, the Junior League of Dallas, and the Southwest Suburban Dallas Chapter of Jack and Jill of America, Inc. This wife and mother is a member of Concord Church.
Former State Representative Lorraine Birabil is probably one of the hardest working and meticulous public servants you will meet. Her story, of her father, is inspiring. An immigrant single parent, he was a Black scientist at UT Southwestern and he was that beacon of light in his daughter’s life. Like her father, Lorraine is a dedicated volunteer; serving in various capacities at federal, state, and local levels of government. A native, Texas, this attorney, mentor and role model to many has been a Democratic Precinct Chair and delegate to the Texas Democratic Party state convention for over a decade. Lorraine has also served on several boards including the Dallas County Citizens Election Advisory Committee. Lorraine is a graduate of the University of North Texas with a B.S. Degree in Biology and a B.A. Degree in Political Science. A wife and mother, she earned a Doctor of Jurisprudence from Texas A&M University School of Law. Highly respected and praised for her commitment to justice and service to mankind, she is the executive director of the Barbara Jordan Leadership Institute.
She’s the Queen of Style and Fashion!
If you’re looking for your next dress to impress outfit, you need to know Nena Hayden. She attended El Centro College, Texas Institute Secretarial School and Dallas College. In addition to being a tax and legal assistant and special project manager, she is also the creative genius behind Nena’s Finds. Nena’s Finds Boutique is a “Uniquely, Stylist Fashionable Boutique For All Sizes!” Ranging from “Pretti n Petite to Pretti n Plus,” Nena likes to be a bit edgy and blingy … but all the while, keeping it chic with sophisticated style! Nena’s Finds is your one stop shop for an eccentric flare! Schedule your Sip n Shop, Trunk Show, Girls Nite Out or Wardrobe Revamp with Nena’s Finds! A graduate of Gilmer High School, Nena has volunteered with the Susan G. Komen Foundation, Dallas Area Habitat for Humanity, The Dallas Arboretum and Botanic Garden, United Way of Metropolitan Dallas, American Heart Association and Don’t Believe the Hype Foundation. HUB certified and a notary public, Nena is a joy to work with and she has an eye for style!
World-Class actress and performer, she’s Dallas’ Best Actress
Liz Mikel is a Texas treasure. Dance, music or theater; she has it covered and you can add in the big screen. Performing almost since she was a baby, Liz has trained under Ms. Ann Williams, founder of The Dallas Black Dance Theater and Curtis King, founder and Director of The Black Academy of Arts and Letters. Liz played the part of Mabel –The First Lady, thrilling audiences in the musical “CROWNS,” at The Dallas Theater Center. She has appeared in over 20 productions at DTC since 1990. She is a long-time favorite in its annual production of A Christmas Carol, where she portrayed several characters, including The Ghost of Christmas Present. Liz has opened for nationally renowned recording artists Erykah Badu, Branford Marsalis and Isaac Hayes and she was featured vocalist for the Dallas Museum of Art’s presentation of Duke Ellington’s “Sacred Concert.”She has received the Leon Rabin Award for “Outstanding Performance by an Actress in a Musical” from the Dallas Theatre League, the Sankofa Award for her “dedication to the Arts in the Community” and the Dallas Theater Critics Forum Award for her role in Ain’t Misbehavin. Liz is the best actress!
Congrats to Ashley as she takes on a new position at WFAA-TV!
Ashley Moss was a 2020 Poynter-Koch Media and Journalism Fellow with I Messenger Media, LLC. (Texas Metro News, Garland Journal and I Messenger). A graduate of Spelman College, she received her Masters degree in Broadcast and Digital Journalism from Syracuse University, Newhouse School of Public Communications. While at I Messenger Media, in addition to covering numerous issues and stories, she appeared on WVON and KHVN Radio Stations, contributed to the National Newspaper Publishers Association’s National Election Night Coverage 2020, co-moderated the Texas Metro News/Dallas Morning News Election 2020 Town Hall, began providing news updates on Philadelphia Radio Stations 110.7FM/99.5HD3 with Dareia Jacobs, hosted a 2-hour weekly podcast on Blog Talk Radio, FB Live and Streamyard; participated in the Black Business Town Hall with the National Black Business Empowerment, and was tapped for the National Press Foundation’s Statehouse Reporting Fellowship. No stranger to the Metroplex, the former Miss Spelman College; with deep roots in the DMV, is a member of the National Association of Black Journalists and Society of Professional Journalists and she is firmly implanting her roots back in Texas as she joins the assignment desk at WFAA-TV! We salute our I Messenger Media alum! Join us in congratulating Ashley as she continues to make strides and impact an industry that definitely needs her!
She has lived a life of service, starting as a young child, and we’re excited about the
next chapter in her life!
A former Dallas Deputy Mayor Pro Tem, Diane Ragsdale recently retired as managing director at ICDC/ Community Development Corporation. A graduate of James Madison High School, she received a Bachelor’s degree from Dallas Baptist University. She has served her community, the city of Dallas and humanity for decades. Some of her numerous awards include: Trailblazer’s Award – National Black Nurses Association – Dallas Chapter, Invisible Giants Award — Voting Rights Museum of Selma, AL; Community Service Award — National Association of Negro Business and Professional Women’s Clubs; A. Maceo Smith Community Service Award — African American Museum of Life and Culture; Civil Rights Award — Dallas NAACP; Outstanding Texan Award — Texas Legislative Black Caucus; President’s Award — Dallas Urban League; Sojourner Truth National Award — South Dallas Business and Professional Women’s Club; Mary McLeod Bethune Community Service Award — National Council of Negro Women; and Trailblazer Award — African American Pastor’s Coalition. Madison High School named the library the Diane Ragsdale Library and Media Center and the training center at the Child Care Dallas Center at the Martin Luther King Complex is also named to honor her work and commitment. She is a jewel, our treasure! IT’S ALSO HER BIRTHDAY!
In the spirit of great journalists, Sonny lifts as she climbs.
Sonceria “Sonny” Messiah Jiles is the CEO of The Houston Defender Media Group, which includes The Defender newspaper and Defender website. Sonny attended the University of Houston, where she received a BA degree in political science and economics. A businesswoman and journalist for over 40 years, Messiah Jiles has worked in print and electronic media. Embracing cutting-edge innovation, calculated risk-taking, fun, and an opportunity to better serve her readers, advertiser, sponsors, and community, Messiah Jiles continues her journey of creating a New Black Press in the digital world. A past chair of the National Newspaper Publishers Association (NNPA), Sonny has also served on the NNPA Foundation Board. Sonny has had a long and impressive career in journalism. The Houston Defender is one of the countries premiere Black-owned newspaper and as the publisher, Sonny has always strived to be better and do better. She opens up opportunities for journalists, regardless of their ethnicity because she is striving for journalistic excellence. As a long-time leader of the National Newspaper Publishers Association, Sonny has worked tirelessly to provide quality journalism while also hiring and providing internships and fellowships for members of her team.
She’s a special events QUEEN!
Cre Rasberry is Conference-USA’s Director of Events. At C-USA, Rasberry oversees all of the league’s special events, including the annual Spring Meetings and hospitality events at the football and basketball championships. Cre received a bachelor’s degree in sports marketing from LSU in 2011. Later that year, she joined the 2013 New Orleans Super Bowl Host Committee as a communications assistant, working on not only Super Bowl XVLII, but also the 2012 NCAA Men’s Final Four and the R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl. She continued work with the NFL and its Emerging Business Program, helping execute workshops and trade shows. Cre was also a recruiting manager for S.A.F.E. Management in New Jersey. She has also coordinated a number of special events for the Children’s Hospital in New Orleans and at Frisco Family Services. Expect more and more exciting news about Cre in the very near future! She’s going to continue to be superb!
DOROTHY J. GENTRY
Her ultimate goal is to become a college journalism professor and she would be ideal!
Dorothy is a seasoned journalist with more than 25 years in the business. She is a member of National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) and the NABJ Sports Task Force and is a proud Journalism graduate of the University of North Texas. While at UNT, she interned at the Dallas Weekly. In addition to serving as an editor at Texas Metro News covering the NBA, Mavericks, WNBA, Wings and sports & entertainment; her work can be found in the Garland Journal, I Messenger, The Athletic, Shondaland, The New York Times, The NextHoops, and more. She is the founder of @ faithsportsmore, a blog discussing the collision of faith, spirituality, sports and news. A second- generation journalist, Dorothy also worked as a public relations manager at K Strategies Group, Inc., and she enjoyed stints at KERA Radio and Howland PR. Dorothy is in her 18th year of teaching and currently teaches at Lady Bird Johnson Middle School in Irving ISD. She loves teaching and covering sports. Having covered several NBA All Star Games, the Skyline High School grad is always finding creative ways to write about sports, athletes and the news of the day. Her writing is superb and so is this proud mother of one son.
E. FAYE WILLIAMS,ESQ
She is Black History and she is coming to Dallas!
The National President of the National Congress of Black Women, Dr. E. Faye Williams is the president of the Dick Gregory Society and a board member of the World Conference of Mayors. A former Professor of International Law at Southern University Law Center in Baton Rouge, she previously served as Chief of Staff for the late Mayor Marion Barry and she served President Barack Obama as a member of his Presidential Scholars Commission. An ordained minister, Dr. Williams served as president of the Grambling State University National Alumni Association and she was inducted into The HistoryMakers and the Grambling State University Hall of Fame. Armed with numerous degrees and certifications from Grambling, USC, Howard School of Law and City University of Los Angeles; as well as, Atlanta Law School, Univ. of Michigan, Pepperdine and George Washington universities, she is degreed and educated. A proud life member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. and the NAACP, there’s so much to share about Atty. Williams, but instead, come out and meet her Sunday, July 18, 2021 at the African American Museum in Dallas, at 4p.m.
NATESHA “SHAY” WYRICK CATHEY
She is a true servant leader. Smart, committed, faithful and loving!
Shay is a born leader. Prior to attending the University of Texas at Austin and Southwestern Christian College, she went to Christian Academy of Oak Cliff and Skyline High School. A proud and loyal member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., she is a wife and mother to three sons and currently the Senior Policy Advisor to Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins. A past President of the SwCC Alumni Association. She was inducted into the SwCC Alumni Hall of Fame in 2009 and was awarded the Doctor of Humane Letters in 2014. An award winning journalist, who also won several scholarships from the Dallas-Fort Worth Association of Black Communicators (now Journalists,) she is also a Sunday School teacher and ministry leader at church, a Cub Scout leader; member of the State Democratic Executive Committee and Dallas Branch NAACP. I Shay has been active in grassroots politics all of her life. In 2002, she was a regional Finance Director for Ron Kirk’s US Senate campaign. Next, she became Senator Royce West’s political director, and in 2004, the 23rd Senatorial District elected her as a delegate to the National Convention in Boston. She puts in the work!
REP. SENFRONIA THOMPSON
She is the Dean of the Texas House of Representatives
Rep. Senfronia Thompson is the Dean of the Texas House and Texas Legislative Black Caucus (TLBC). She was born in Booth, Texas and currently represents District 141, which includes Northeast Houston and Humble. Rep. Thompson has the distinct honor of being the longest-serving woman and African American in Texas history, serving her 25th term. She graduated from Booker T. Washington High School in Houston, received a BS in Biology from Texas Southern University; a Master of Education from Prairie View A&M University; a JD degree from Thurgood Marshall School of Law and a Masters in International Law from the University of Houston. Rep. Thompson is a proud member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority. A Houston attorney and award-winning legislator, Rep. Thompson, affectionately known by her colleagues as “Ms. T”, was inducted into the Texas Women’s Hall of Fame on May 6, 2014. Her works in the House are legendary. She’s been at the forefront of many issues and is ever vigilant; addressing everything from human trafficking and equal pay to healthcare, education and racial profiling. And yes, voting rights! Rep. Thompson is the only recipient of the Rosa Parks Award from the TLBC and she is a strong supporter of the UNCF.
She sings Country music and she’s better than just “good!” She’s so deserving of support!
IMAJ is a multi- talented Country singer-songwriter, author, designer, musician, motivational speaker, philanthropist and humanitarian. Born in Miami, Fla., she lives in Texas and travels the continent thrilling audiences and spreading profound messages of love and peace. Imaj enjoys soaking up the sun, reading, dancing, the opera, history, fashion design, deep conversations, playing her Gibson Doves In Flight guitar and spending time with her sweet Yorkie, “Ever Hart.” With a lovely voice that sounds great whether she’s talking, singing, crooning, or even rapping a little; this songbird loves Country music and she can hold her own with the so-called “best.” IMAJ charted on Nashville’s Music Row and climbed to New and Active on the Billboard Country charts with her debut single, “Guess Who’s Coming To Dinner,” which she says is, “about being yourself in a world where everyone else is trying to be everyone else.” She can hold her own anytime and any place! Always open for speaking engagements, especially where she has an opportunity to dismantle barriers; IMAJ is compassionate, smart and loving. She’s respectful and supportive. She is so deserving of support as she continues to make her mark; all the while cultivating her many talents and growing her fan base. Check her out at www.loveimaj.com.
STEPHENETTA ISIS HARMON
She doesn’t mind being called a “geek” because she knows her stuff and she has receipts!
Stephenetta “Isis” Harmon is multi-talented and multi-lingual (she speaks English, French, Technology). A digital guru, and a Black Beauty Director, she is the founder of the Sadiaa Black Beauty Guide, a national publication and the Klade’ Group. Her repertoire also includes stints at Uptown Magazine, Hype Hair, Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder, National Action Council for Minorities in Engineering and Insight News. She received her Bachelor of Arts in English Language and Literature from Hamline University. A public relations expert skilled in brand development, media placement and bookings, Isis is a public speaker, investigative reporter, and project and social commerce management. Isis says she is “a Black beauty editor, curator, and digital media and communications expert who builds platforms to celebrate the power, impact, and business of Black beauty.” She can out strategize the “expert” in digital media and those who’ve ever been burned by web developers should contact Isis because she is a pro who delivers with custom web design, development, and maintenance services. Check her out at www.stephenetta.com.
BRENDA LEE EIKNER-JONES
She is a hometown girl, a Dallas native, who has made everyone proud, time and time again!
Brenda Lee Eikner- Jones is retired, but that doesn’t stop her from continuing a lifetime of service. A graduate of the Texas Southern University School of Pharmacy with a degree in Pharmacy, the former senior account manager at Wyeth-Ayerst Laboratories was a retail pharmacist at Skillerns Drugs and a pharmacist at Parkland Hospital. She also worked in management at Coldwater Creek, Easy Sale Inc., before she put her impeccable design and styling techniques to work at Johnny Was. Brenda graduated from Roosevelt High School in Dallas. She is an active and loyal member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., and she is often praised for being creative, innovative, detail oriented, self-motivated and dependable. In 2019 she was recognized for 50 years of service to Alpha Kappa Alpha. Those 50 years began when she was inducted into Gamma Psi Chapter at TSU in 1969, and continued in numerous capacities including 1994-95 president of the graduate chapter that she joined, Alpha Xi Omega, in Dallas. Brenda leads with distinction and is highly respected.
L. DIANE EVANS
She is a servant leader who lifts as she climbs!
L. Diane Evans hails from Flint, Michigan where she attended Northwestern High School. She attended Wiley College and is a member of Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority. A divorcee, she is the mother of two sons. Currently the Assistant PEIMS Director at A Plus Charter Schools, but she is a woman of many talents and attributes. She is one of the team leaders of the Don’t Believe the Hype Celebrity Bowl-a-thon. A former national president of the Urban Financial Services Coalition, she has a banking background and is well-connected across the country. Diane is a servant leader. She volunteers, supports, mentors, donates and uplifts. Additionally she is a leader in several arenas, like as a area director for the Dallas Cowboys organization, or associate with Price Enterprises LLC. People speak of her warm and loving personality, deep and abiding faith, and “big heart.” She’s always doing something for someone else, whether she’s finding employment or investment opportunities or working overtime to help someone with a project; Diane is a born leader, team player and take-charge person. She’s probably out planning something for someone today, and it’s HER birthday!
The ultimate caregiver, Gevonna is an accomplished journalist and healthy living
Gevonna Fassett is executive director of Olivia’s Prayer, a place for caregivers and Alzheimer’s Awareness in African American Communities. Gevonna received her BS degree in Broadcast journalism from the University of Kansas where she was active in Blacks in Communications and Alpha Phi Omega. A member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, she also studied at the University of Costa Rica. Gevonna volunteered with the Alzheimer’s Association as an advocate, community rep and ambassador. Previously she worked in sports in Dallas for KTVT- TV and the Dallas Weekly; and she was a member of the Dallas-Fort Worth Association of Black Communicators (now Journalists) and National Association of Black Journalists. Today, the healthy living advocate resides in her hometown of Chicago, IL; where she returned to be a caregiver to her ailing mother. Her latest book, Say NO to Keto, is receiving rave reviews. Always energetic and engaging, Gevonna has a beautiful spirit and she can be the life of the party! Talented, witty and knowledgeable, the skilled diva is compassionate, loving and she’s celebrating her birthday today!
REV. DR. SHERON PATTER SON
Dr. Patterson is our best and brightest. Loving, lovable, gracious, faithful, inspiring, and an example for others to follow!
Dr. Sheron C. Patterson is Senior Pastor of Hamilton Park United Methodist Church in Dallas, Tex.; and the First African American woman ordained an elder in the North Texas Conference of the United Methodist Church. She has served as a member of the General Board of Discipleship in Nashville, and as a Communicator for the United Methodist Women. The Charlotte, NC native seeks to end domestic violence. A member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc, she served as a director on the board of Methodist Health Systems and currently she is Vice President of the Perkins School of Theology Executive Board, an Adjunct Professor at Perkins and Vice President of the Black Clergy of North Texas. Dr. Patterson is a 13-year survivor of breast cancer. With Methodist Health systems she created “The Patterson Pledge” encouraging women to take responsibility of their health. She raised thousands to provide free mammograms for low income women by gathering other breast cancer survivors and building Habitat for Humanity homes. A journalist, author, golf pro and activist, she holds degrees from Spelman College and Perkins School of Theology. She has been married 35 years and is the mother of two adult children. This beautiful jewel is a highly sought after speaker, a frequent guest on television and radio programs, and a former radio personality.
DeDe brightens your day, no matter the time. Whether she is advocating for women, telling a joke or addressing injustices, she looks good and makes those around her feel good.
DeDe McGuire has been entertaining radio audiences for decades. One of a few women with a nationally-syndicated morning show – “DeDe in the Morning” on K104FM (Dallas), DeDe has interviewed world leaders from President Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, to celebrities such as Jay Z and Beyonce. A philanthropist, community activist, mentor and volunteer, DeDe is the recipient of numerous awards, including the International Black Broadcasters (IBBA) Lifetime Achievement Award; Elite News Communications Award; Shades of Success Honor; and she was also named one of the Top 25 Women in Dallas by Rolling out Magazine. A spokesperson for Witherite Law Group (Injury Lawyers), MINT Dentistry, Park Place Motorcars, Spence Diamonds and Squeezed Online; DeDe is a loving person who continues to give back to the community through countless non-profit organizations and scholarship programs including Women Called Moses, Beauty and Brains’ DeDe McGuire Scholarship; and, as the Community Ambassador for Dress for Success Dallas. In March 2018, she inaugurated DeDe’s Women’s History Month Kickoff Luncheon benefiting Girls Inc. Dallas and Dress for Success Dallas. She’s funny, smart, conscientious, sincere and focused. She’s a woman with a vision, who is socially conscious and she is a trailblazer.
REV. COKIESHA BAILEY
Rev. Robinson is a superb and eloquent communicator who brings joy into the lives of so many.
Cokiesha Bailey Robinson has served as a missionary in Africa and Jamaica and studied as a student missionary in Izmir, Turkey. A graduate of David W. Carter High School in Dallas, she received her bachelor’s degree in English with an emphasis in mass communications from Fisk University and a master’s of divinity from Beeson Divinity School at Samford University. She pursued a doctorate at Truett Seminary at Baylor University. This member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority writes for several devotional sites and has also contributed to seven books, co-authoring two. In 2015, Rev. Robinson founded Cross Springs Ministry, a ministry of gospel-centered mentorship, leadership and service. A writer for Our Daily Bread, in 2020 she was named associate dean of student diversity and inclusion at Grace College and Seminary. She is a former associate pastor at Concord Church. She is best described as an encourager, servant-leader, author, mentor, daughter, wife, potential pusher, teacher, mouthpiece for the kingdom of God and an adventurous woman who lives in faith and never meets a stranger. She is pleasing, pleasant and a joy to be around.
University of Texas at Dallas. A former board member of the National Forum for Black Public Administrators and Big Brothers Big Sisters, Rona has a long history of service. Rona was Deputy City Manager and Assistant City Manager for the City of Lancaster, and a planner for the Cities of Lancaster and McKinney. She holds memberships in AICP – American Institute of Certified Planners Alliance For Innovation, APA – American Planning Assn, APWA – American Public Works Assn, GFOAT – Government Finance Officers Assn of Texas, ICMA – International City/County Management Assn, National Assn of Professional Women, National Forum for Black Public Administrators, North Texas City Managers Assn, TCMA -Texas City Management Assn, TPWA – Texas Public Works Assn, TxAPA – TX Chapter of the American Planning Assn and Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority.
DR. JENNIFER WIMBISH
Dr. Wimbish is a true educator engaged in the Poor People’ Campain
Dr. Jennifer Wimbish, a former member of the Sunlight Girl’s Club in Port Lavaca, authored her first book, “Leadership Wisdom For All Generations. She is the President-Emeritus of Cedar Valley Community College (now Dallas College). She holds a doctorate degree in higher adult and lifelong education from Michigan State University; a master’s degree in guidance and counseling from Texas A&M University- Kingsville; and a bachelor’s degree in history education from Hampton University (Va.). During her tenure, three early college high schools were created, and Cedar Valley was designated as “First in the World” for its chapter of the international academic honorary for two- year colleges, Phi Theta Kappa, among many other achievements. She was a signatory of the American College & University Presidents Climate Commitment (ACUPCC) in 2007 and received the Administrator of the Year Award from Minority Access in 2013 for her efforts to improve the recruitment, retention and enhancement of minorities. Dr. Wimbish is on the forefront addressing social justice issues as part of the Poor People’s Campaign. A member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, this career-educator is a former dean of student and academic support services at Lansing Community College in Lansing, Michigan and she is committed to making a difference.
DR. JULIANNE MALVEAUX
Dr. Malveaux has been described by Cornel West as “the most iconoclastic
public intellectual in the country.”
Dr. Julianne Malveaux is President Emerita of Bennett College for Women. She entered Boston College after the 11th grade, and earned B.A. and M.A. degrees in economics in three years and also was initiated into the Iota chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. She earned a Ph.D. in economics from MIT and holds honorary degrees from Benedict College, Sojourner-Douglass College and the University of the District of Columbia.
Dr. Malveaux has held positions in womens, civil rights, and policy organizations, including President of the National Association of Negro Business and Professional Women’s Clubs Inc. She serves on the boards of the Economic Policy Institute, The Recreation Wish List Committee of Washington, DC, and the Liberian Education Trust. She taught at San Francisco State University and was a visiting professor at the University of California, Berkeley, New School for Social Research, College of Notre Dame (San Mateo, California), Michigan State University, and Howard University. Dr. Malveaux is an economist, author, and Dean of the College of Ethnic Studies at Cal State LA. She is also President of PUSH Excel, the education arm of the Rainbow PUSH Coalition.
Pamela Ziegler-Petty is a giant in the banking industry and as a community
Pamela Zeigler-Petty is leading community development lending at InterBank as the Community Reinvestment Officer. Pamela has more than 23 years of community banking experience, including, most recently, as a senior business development officer for Capital One. Prior to that, she held roles in commercial, business banking and community development banking with One World Bank, Green Bank, and others. She holds a BA degree in Communications from Grambling State University and has numerous commercial banking certifications. She remains committed to volunteering and serves various organizations as a board member including the Plano Chamber of Commerce, Business Council for the Arts, North Texas Performing Arts and Impact Ventures. Pamela was recently awarded the 2021 Collin County Women of Influence Business Leader by the Junior League of Collin County. She received the ArtsCentre of Plano 2019 Leadership Award and the 2017 Athena International Leadership Award from the Plano Chamber of Commerce. She’s in Who’s Who of Black Dallas, third and fourth editions and is a graduate of Leadership Plano.She’s also a member of the Chi Zeta Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Barbara C. Jordan Giving Circle, Texas Women’s Foundation and McKinney Rotary Foundation.
JUDGE DOMINIQUE COLLINS
Judge Dominique Collins has always led a life of service and she continues to lead in the courtroom and our communities.
Dominique Collins is a District Judge in Dallas County. She served as an assistant
Attorney District for eight years and she was a clerk at Plunkett & Gibson, Inc. Prior to that she served our country in the United States Air Force for 12 years. She attended Lake Highlands High School, Stanton College Preparatory School and University of Texas/Campbell University. A graduate of St. Mary’s University School of Law, in San Antonio, where she was Associate Editor of “The Scholar” law review and served as a teaching assistant, she has extensive experience handling both felony and criminal cases. Judge Collins was honored with the Above and Beyond Prosecutor Award in 2008, and she served on the State Bar of Texas Committee on Crime Victims from 2009 to 2011.A member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., her volunteer work includes service as Secretary and Vice President of the Kessler School PTA, a law instructor, a volunteer income tax assistant, a helpline volunteer, work with veterans, as well as many other community activities. Judge Colins is well respected for her preparedness, legal knowledge and prowess and leadership.
JUDGE CHERYL LEE SHANNON
Judge Cheryl Lee Shannon is liked and respected and with good reason. She’s smart, caring, fair, conscientious and committed.
Hon. Cheryl Lee Shannon is a District Judge in Dallas County presiding over the 305th District Court juvenile hearing matters, child abuse and neglect cases and a myriad of matters relating to parental termination/adoption issues. She was formerly an Associate Judge in Dallas County for both the 304th and 305th District Courts. A graduate from the University of Houston with a degree in Political Science, she attended the University of Houston Law Center. Judge Shannon currently serves as the Chairman of the Dallas County Juvenile Board, President of the Dallas County Charter School Board, Chairman of the Texas Juvenile Probation Commission, is a member of the State Bar of Texas Juvenile Justice Committee and has recently been appointed by the Supreme Court of Texas to serve on the Judicial Commission for Youth, Children and Families. She has formerly served as a Board Member of Texas CASA, Texas School Safety Center Board, Supreme Court Task Force of Foster Care and Committees relating to Youth Issues. She is an active member of the Juvenile Section of the Dallas Bar Association and the Judicial Section of the State Bar of Texas.
HONORABLE HELEN GIDDINGS
Helen Giddings has lived a life of achievement and service.
Helen Giddings is president of Multiplex Inc., a specialty concessions company, which she founded in 1989. A former member of the Texas House of Representatives, who served as the Vice Chair of the State Affairs Committee and a member of the House Appropriations, State Affairs, and the Calendars Committees; previously, she served as Vice President of Leadership Development at the Greater Dallas Chamber of Commerce and as an executive responsible for 11 states with Sears. She chaired the Business and Industry Committee was appointed to the Texas Legislative Council Governing Board, the Supreme Court of Texas Permanent Judicial Commission for Children, Youth and Families, and the Joint Interim Committee to Study Alzheimer’s Disease. Her service on boards included; the African American Museum, Dallas Symphony Board, Dallas Summer Musicals, Dallas Historical Society and the Dallas Theater Center. She has served on several boards. She served as President of the National Foundation of Women Legislators. Her service also extended to the Women’s Legislative Network of the National Conference of State Legislators and the National Organization of Black Elected Legislative (NOBEL) Women. A member of Links Inc., who attended the UTA, she is the recipient of numerous awards, including an honorary degree from Paul Quinn College, and is now focusing on Multiplex Inc. and Women’s Leadership Summit.