THE PHYSICAL CITY
Moderator: Mark Lamster, Papress
Mark Lamster is the architectural critic of The Dallas Morning News, a Loeb Fellow at the Harvard Graduate School of Design and a professor in the architecture school at the University of Texas at Arlington. He is the author of several books, has been recognized by the Associated Press and the Society for Features Journalism for his writing, celebrated for his “beautiful mind” by D Magazine, which has named him the best critic in Dallas for three consecutive years, and lauded for his “sharp analytical eye” by the Dallas Observer.
Cyndy Lutz, Dallas Habitat
Cyndy Lutz is the vice president of neighborhood investment for Dallas Habitat. She has been serving with Dallas Habitat since 1989 and grew from volunteer to board member to senior staff. Today she serves Habitat in many capacities, especially in maintaining relationships with donors, neighborhood leaders, and city staff, and purchasing land.
Raquel Favela, City of Dallas
Raquel Favela is chief of economic development and neighborhood services for the City of Dallas. In this role, she oversees the departments of planning and urban design, housing and neighborhood revitalization, code compliance, fair housing and economic development. Favela has over two decades of experience working city governments and for the last ten years has provided strategic direction for clients’ priority community development projects to create jobs and housing options.
Diane Jones Allen, University of Texas at Arlington
Diane Jones Allen is program director of Landscape Architecture, College of Architecture Planning and Public Affairs, University of Texas at Arlington, and Principal Landscape Architect for DesignJones, LLC, New Orleans, Louisiana. DesignJones LLC received the 2016 American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) Community Service Award. Diane received the 2017 Distinguished Alumni Award from the College of Environmental Design, UC Berkeley.
THE HEALTHY CITY
Moderator: Anna Kuchment, Dallas News
Anna Kuchment is a science writer for The Dallas Morning News and a contributing editor at Scientific American, where she was a senior editor until 2013. She was previously a longtime staff writer for Newsweek magazine. Her book, The Forgotten Cure, a narrative about the race between three biotech startups to turn a Soviet era treatment into a drug that would fight superbugs, was hailed by both scientists and book critics. She lives in Dallas.
Ruben Amarasingham, Pieces Tech
Ruben Amarasingham is the founder, president and CEO of Pieces Technologies, Inc, a healthcare information technology firm that specializes in clinical decision scientists. Dr. Amarasingham is also the founder and past president of PCCI, a scientific research institute based in Dallas, Texas whose focus is biomedical informatics. He was previously an associate professor in the departments of General Internal Medicine and Clinical Sciences at UT Southwestern Medical Center.
Theodora Ross, UT Southwestern
Theo Ross serves as the director of the UT Southwestern Cancer Genetics Program in Dallas, Texas. She received her M.D. and Ph.D. from Washington University Medical School in St. Louis and completed her medical residency at Harvard’s the Brigham and Women’s Hospital, followed by a fellowship in oncology at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. Her laboratory investigates the normal function of BRCA1 as well as the basic biology of cancer cells and how those cells resist cancer drugs. Her first book, A Cancer in the Family: Take Control of Your Genetic Inheritance, was published in 2016.
Brian J. Dixon, Together Forward
Brian J. Dixon, MD is on the faculty at the new TCU & UNTHSC School of Medicine in Fort Worth, he was named one of the Top Doctors of 2017 by Fort Worth Magazine, as well as one of Fort Worth Business Press’s Forty Under Forty. He is the Founder and CEO of Together Forward, a 501(c)4 non-profit Think Tank. He completed a Triple Board Residency in Pediatrics, Psychiatry and Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at the University of Kentucky College of Medicine. His mission is to encourage healthy solution-focused dialogue on issues of health, wealth, and cultural disparity.
Tom Mayo, SMU
Tom Mayo is associate professor at SMU’s Dedman School of Law; adjunct associate professor of Internal Medicine at the University of Texas – Southwestern Medical School; and of counsel to Haynes and Boone. He currently serves on two hospital ethics committees and is co-chair of the ethics committees at Parkland Hospital and Children’s Medical Center. He is a co-founder of the Dallas Legal Hospice, Texas’ first pro bono legal clinic for persons with HIV disease and persons with terminal illnesses.
THE EDUCATED CITY
Moderator: Byron Sanders, Big Thought
Byron Sanders is president and CEO of Big Thought. A recipient of the 2014 Dallas Business Journal’s Minority Business Leaders and 40 Under 40 awards, he has been recognized as a Dallas Convention and Visitors Bureau BIG Influencer, in Who’s Who in Black Dallas, as a TEDx speaker, and as a 2017 Presidential Leadership Scholar. In 2018, he received Parkland Foundation’s Community First Award.
Michele Broughton, Dallas ISD
Michele Broughton is the principal of the School of Business and Management at the Yvonne A. Ewell Townview Center, a National Blue Ribbon Award winning magnet school in Dallas, Texas. Broughton has served sixteen years in the Dallas Independent School District in the roles of Teacher, Instructional Coach, Assistant Principal and Principal. Much of her experience has been in turnaround schools and magnet schools where she developed curricula, trained, and coached teachers and administrators to use research-based best practices and real-time data to inform and improve instruction.
Alfonso Correa, Dallas ISD
Alfonso Correa is a high school teacher at the School for the Talented and Gifted in Dallas ISD. He currently teaches AP English, Mexican American Studies, African American Studies, Senior Thesis, and Debate, and has taught in DISD for twenty-two years. He has served on numerous committees and developed the school’s Thesis program in cooperation with the TEA’s Region 13 Educational Service Center.
Nancy Bernardino, Dallas ISD
Nancy Bernardino is the founding principal of Solar Preparatory School for Girls in Dallas ISD. Bernardino’s most recent previous position was as principal of John Quincy Adams Elementary, a Title I school in Southeast Dallas. She has served the families of Dallas ISD since 2005 in various capacities, including associate principal, academic coordinator, and teacher.
John Gasko, UNT Dallas
Dr. John W. Gasko is dean and professor in the School of Education at the University of North Texas at Dallas, and founder of the Emerging Teacher Institute. Prior to serving in this role, he was chief executive officer of an Ed Tech company, UChicago Impact, while serving as the managing director of the Urban Education Institute (UEI) at the University of Chicago. Before Chicago, Gasko served as the associate director of the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston’s Children’s Learning Institute.
THE INCLUSIVE CITY
Moderator: Dianne Solis, Dallas News
Dianne Solis is a senior writer at The Dallas Morning News and a former foreign correspondent in Mexico for The Wall Street Journal. Throughout her career, she’s written about people crossing borders, from tales of refugees from Iraq, to children from El Salvador seeking asylum in the U.S. She’s also taken a deeper look at the tragic death of Santos Rodriguez, a 12-year-old boy killed by a Dallas police office 45 years ago and how the outrage galvanized minority communities to this day to fight for civil rights change.
Liz Cedillo-Pereira, City of Dallas
Mary Elizabeth (Liz) Cedillo-Pereira is the director of the Dallas Office of Welcoming Communities and Immigrant Affairs. The Dallas Welcoming Communities office seeks to be a bridge connecting Dallas’ diverse immigrant communities with existing Dallas residents so that common ground and shared leadership can be realized. Prior to joining the City of Dallas management team, Cedillo-Pereira served as the Obama Administration’s senior advisor at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
Liz Magallanes, Mi Familia Vota
Liz Magallanes is the DFW coordinator with Mi Familia Vota. She lives to serve, and fight alongside low to moderate income communities of color, and immigrant youth of North Texas to ensure their rights are secured. She believes the truths of people of color, immigrants, and all people, regardless of race, gender, or faith should ring out in every piece of legislation passed locally, nationally and globally. As a student of drama, she also strives to incorporate those voices in the arts – film, television, music, and more.
Daley Ryan, International Rescue Committee
Daley Ryan is a Dallas native. He received a Bachelor’s degree in Anthropology from the University of North Texas. Upon graduation in 2007, he traveled extensively in South Asia, returned home to Texas in 2009, and took an unpaid internship with the International Rescue Committee. He has been there ever since, and currently serves as the deputy director overseeing programs and departments that provided services to over 2,000 individuals in 2017.
Poonam Desai, Momentous Institute
Poonam Desai is a licensed psychologist and licensed specialist in School Psychology in Texas. A former middle school special education teacher, she has been working and training in the field of education for the past 10 years. Dr. Desai is passionate about helping schools work at the intersection of mental health and education, particularly in serving students and communities who are struggling the most. Her ongoing work in the community has been focused on racial equity and mindfulness.