Ashley Gordon PraterDallas ISD, Social WorkerMore
Ashley Gordon Prater is a Licensed Master Social Worker with nearly a decade of direct practice experience. Ashley currently works at Dallas ISD, the second largest public school district in Texas, to provide services and support to special education students and their families. She has developed and implemented a curriculum for parents who are new to the special education and disability world. She also collaborates with district and campus personnel, community agencies, and families to advocate for inclusivity and a positive, holistic approach to serving children with disabilities and their families.
Prior to her work with Dallas ISD, Ashley worked at the Department of Family and Protective Services, Dallas Area Rape Crisis Center, Baylor University’s Texas Hunger Initiative, Congressman Marc Veasey’s district office, Student Veterans Project and the Irving Police Department Victim Services Unit. Ashley is also currently serving on the City of Irving’s Housing and Human Services Board and is very involved with Girls Rock Dallas (a camp aimed at empowering girls and women through music education). She believes it is important to volunteer and give back to the community in any way you can.
Ashley obtained her bachelor's and master's degree in social work from the University of Texas at Arlington. She has experience working with some of the most vulnerable populations including child and adult crime victims, persons with disabilities, veterans, immigrants, persons and families experiencing housing and financial instability and food insecurity.
Over the past few years she began feeling her ability to assist clients was hindered due to local, state and federal policies so she decided to return to academia and is currently finishing up her second master’s degree in public policy and administration at Northwestern University. She has a brain full of programming and policy ideas and a heart full of passion to see these ideas through. She hopes to create spaces and opportunities for those who are underserved and overlooked and improve and remove barriers to current assistance.
In the future, Ashley plans to obtain her clinical social work license and obtain a doctorate degree in social work or public policy. You can usually find her daydreaming about Leslie Knope (primary protagonist of TV’s Parks and Recreation) and ideas on how to change the world while humming Rage Against the Machine songs and snuggling with her Pomeranian, Roxy.
Exzentrius SturdivantDepartment of Transportation, Highway Safety SpecialistMore
Exzentrius Sturdivant is a native Texan who grew up in the piney woods of Marshall, Texas. He strives to understand the needs of the people in his community and figure out ways to fill those voids. His passion for community started at an early age when he saw the needs of his community being neglected and wondered how he could help. Since those early years of wonder, he has gone on to serve in the US Air Force, work in local government as a city clerk, and the federal government in both HR and contract negotiation. He currently works for the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration, a division of the Department of Transportation as a Highway Safety Specialist.
Exzentrius has volunteered for youth mentorship programs and served on multiple nonprofit boards. He currently sits on the board for the Urban Dreams Music and Arts Foundation.
Exzentrius obtained an Associates in Political Science from San Antonio College, a Bachelors in Public Administration from the University of Texas at San Antonio, and Masters in both Public Administration and Urban and Regional Planning from the University of Texas at San Antonio.Less
Peggy CarterCBRE, Sr. Business AnalystMore
Peggy Carter is a Native Texan who came up through the Dallas Independent School District. Peggy is dedicated to getting others involved in voting. She believes that when more people participate in government it works a lot better. Over the course of a year, she has been working Texas Deputy of Voter Registers to increase the voters registered in Texas. With her hard work with the Denton Vote Group were able to increase Denton County register voters by 4%. She also plans to help bring more community centers to rural areas.
Peggy has worked with United Way helping to set up donating campaigns at her old corporate office. She served on the planning board for American Cancer Association Relay for Life for the Carrollton/ The Colony. Currently she is involved in her current employer African American Networking Group.
Peggy has her Bachelor’s in Accounting and Information Management from The University of Texas at Dallas. She currently works for a Project Management team as a Sr. Business Analyst.Less
Syreeta PritchettUplift Education, Road to College CounselorMore
Syreeta Pritchett is a Dallas native. She is the mother of a handsome three-year-old and serves as a H.S. Counselor for Uplift Hampton Preparatory, a school in the Uplift Education charter network. She graduated from Agnes Scott College, located in Decatur, Georgia with a B.A. in History where she played collegiate level softball. She has studied abroad in Spain and plans to become fluent in the Spanish language. She attends Concord Church and is a member of the Joyful Noise Choir.
Her professional goal is the help shape the trajectory of children’s futures. She was given that same opportunity as a Boys & Girls Club member from the age of 10 to 18. The organization allowed her to attend teen conferences in various states and afforded her various scholarship opportunities. Upon graduating college, Syreeta served as the Program Manager of the Oak Cliff, Roseland and East Dallas Boys & Girls Clubs for three years. Syreeta now resides in Mesquite, with her three-year-old son with plans to attend graduate school.Less
Amanda EmmetSynaptic Pediatric Therapies, Speech-Language PathologistMore
Amanda Emmet is a Pediatric Speech-Language Pathologist serving families in the North Dallas area. Amanda is a passionate therapist who strives daily to assist children in finding their voice. As an advocate for all children, Amanda currently works at one of the only outpatient clinics in the area to provide low-cost speech and occupational therapy, to ensure all families are able to afford quality services. Her clients come from a variety of backgrounds and speak languages such as Arabic, Urdu, and Spanish. Her responsibilities include being a mentor for Speech-Language Pathologists in their Clinical Fellowship Year, coordinating meetings with other therapists, and evaluating/treating children with a range of communication disorders.
Prior to her current position, Amanda served as a Home-Health Pediatric Speech-Language Pathologist in South Dallas where she worked directly with children and families in underserved areas to provide tools and resources for effective communication. Amanda believes her career as an SLP has provided her with first-hand knowledge of how policies made at the local and national levels can affect the most vulnerable populations. She believes in supporting and valuing leaders that will make it easier for all children to succeed. Amanda is a proud graduate of The Hockaday School in Dallas, Texas.
Amanda graduated Magna Cum Laude from Harding University where she received a Bachelor of Arts in Communication Sciences and Disorders. She then attended the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center and received a Master of Arts degree in Speech-Language Pathology. In her personal time, Amanda enjoys spending time with her two cats, traveling, attending concerts, listening to podcasts, and doing escape rooms with her family.Less
Angela DeFelippoTarrant County Central Labor Council, AFL-CIO, Administrative Assistant & Political OrganizerMore
Angela (Angi) DeFelippo, a native Houstonian, relocated to the Dallas - Fort Worth area to organize autoworkers for respect, better wages, benefits, and a place at the bargaining table. Over the course of a year, she began working with the Texas AFLCIO as a Political Field Organizer. Angi ran multiple political programs in Senate District 10, which led to being recruited to the Tarrant County Central Labor Council. Here she works as an Administrative Assistant and Political Organizer. As a member of the TCCLC, she works to engage, educate, and organize union and non-union community members around different issues.
Angi is dedicated to moving society towards tearing down oppression and focusing more on strengthening the working class. Through her positions with Young Active Labor Leaders, Secretary-Treasurer for both the State and the DFW area, she is able to engage with young workers to fight for their rights, educate the new workforce, and build power against oppression. These members then continue to educate and fight for a progressive change in Texas. A Co-Chair for the Texas Working Women’s Committee, she engages with women statewide, educating on rights, how to protect themselves, how to build a movement, and mentor other women in the workplace. Angi is also a member and the Treasurer for the Democratic Socialists of America’s North Texas Chapter. As a member of this organization, Angi is aligned with issues surrounding civil rights, limits on corporate power, healthcare, education, getting money out of politics, and reproductive freedoms.
Through multiple training programs such as Ruth Ellinger Labor Leaders School, TX AFLCIO’s Organizing Institute, Labor Notes, and extensive training programs Angi has been successful in organizing companies and communities. She has an Associate of Applied Science, Biotechnology and is looking forward to rejoining academia in the near future to continue her education.Less
Herbert SmithDFWULYP, Marketing ConsultantMore
Herbert Smith is a native son of Philadelphia, Pa. He has lived in various U.S. destinations before ultimately landing in Dallas, TX. Mr. Smith is a marketing professional with 8 years experience that had the pleasure of cultivating his skills at the illustrious Hampton University.Thus far in his career, he has had the pleasure of working with such acclaimed brands as AT&T, The Gaylord, and Yamaha, including leading teams in executing national campaigns.
Herbert has served in leadership in various roles in the nonprofit sector since 2011, and currently serves as President of the Dallas- Ft. Worth Urban League Young Professionals. He also has the pleasure of being a REAL(Racial Equity Assembly of Leaders) City Fellow through the United Way and Social Venture Partners, a graduate of the National Urban League's Emerging Leaders program, and a Board-member of the Black Academy of Arts and Letters in Dallas. Herbert is constantly looking for ways to continue making an impact in the community and doing the work he feels called to, and is optimistic about the future of our communities.Less
James HarrisTesla, Inc., Staff Technical Recruiter- Team LeadMore
James has worked with companies to increase the diversity in hiring practices and develop inclusive programs to support employees. While at Google, he had the honor to be on the first multidisciplinary diversity sourcing team that hired a record number of diverse engineers within a one-year timeframe. While in his current role, at Tesla, he founded Black at Tesla the first ethnic-based Employee Resource Group in the company’s history.
His desire to progressively push for what’s right started long before his career in recruiting. While at Florida A&M University, James served as the liaison to the Rainbow PUSH coalition and co-founded KAOS (creating an opportunity for success) a non-profit organization which guides young men through their high school years preparing them for their next steps. Through his fraternity, Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc., James has mentored young men from the ages of 8 to 18.
James is a graduate of the Florida A&M University School of Business and Industry. He currently lives in Celina, TX with his wife and son and when he is not fighting the good fight you can find James (trying) to golf, watching all things basketball, and keeping his son’s fingers out of electrical sockets.Less
Michael VineDallas Independent School District, Staffing SpecialistMore
Michael Paul Vine is on a mission to transform American culture—buoyed by an uncommon background, a fundamental desire for social equality, a near-spiritual dedication to critique and problem-solving, and an urgent pragmatism.
Once upon a time, Michael Paul trained to become an opera singer and teacher. He has since answered the call of other intellectual passions and career interests, and his eclectic experience continues to expand. He currently works as an HR professional for the Dallas Independent School District while pursuing doctoral research in identity, interactional sociolinguistics, and critical discourse analysis at the University of Memphis.
Michael Paul’s broad education and experience affords him a particular facility with necessarily broad political foci. One of his goals is to help progressive organizations engage traditionally disparate groups in the social, civic, and political issues that most immediately concern their lives and the lives of those around them.
To this end, Michael Paul is an ardent advocate for developing and promoting a unifying language for the Progressive Movement, a language to replace the yet tentative, overcautious politics of the Democratic Party. He believes firmly that the discourses of Democratic politics must be altered to include that of the persistently erased and silenced. To foster deliberate, good faith collaboration between the well-meaning and the marginalized, he recognizes that we must eliminate counterproductive friction between the groups.
Michael Paul has also long accepted that the potential for leadership emerges and fades contextually, according to situation and circumstance, and he would insist that leadership be considered a process, not a position. He would instead encourage all progressives, regardless of title or affiliation, to commit to becoming everyday activists—to unceasingly challenging any behaviors, policies, traditions, and ideologies that do not support or produce meaningful transformation and measurable progress.Less
Payton ParkerSt. Luke Community UMC, Associate PastorMore
Payton Parker, a native of Merrillville, IN, serves as an Associate Pastor at St. Luke “Community” UMC and is responsible for children, youth, and young adults. In this capacity, Payton’s focus is helping to free others to live into their God-given potential. This comes from his favorite scripture, “Christ in you the hope of glory" (Colossians 1:27). As a United Methodist, much focus is placed on social holiness and justice for the least among our communities. Some of this work happens inside the church but this mostly takes place outside of the building and in the community. Payton also serves with the North Texas African American Clergy Fellowship BMCR (Black Methodists for Church Renewal), and Faith in Texas supporting and advocating for issues of social justice.
Payton answered the call to ministry on March 10, 2013 as an undergraduate student at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff (UAPB). Prior to coming to St. Luke, Payton served as the Youth Pastor and Campus Minister at St. James UMC in Pine Bluff, AR where he primarily served youth in the foster care system.
Payton graduated from undergrad one semester early at the top of his class with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration (Management) with a cumulative GPA of 3.91. He earned the highest honors, Summa Cum Laude and was awarded the Chancellor’s Medallion for his efforts in the classroom. Payton obtained his Master of Divinity from Perkins School of Theology – SMU in May 2018.Less
Skyler KorgelLockheed Martin Aeronautics, Associate Mechanical EngineerMore
A native of the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex, Skyler Korgel is currently an Associate Manufacturing Engineer in Final Assembly at Lockheed Martin Aeronautics on the F-35 Program. Working to develop corrective actions and perform seam validation analysis using metrologic precise measuring tools, Skyler is fascinated with the intersection of technology and policy. Growing up around the tight-knit metrology community and as a longtime Coordinate Systems Metrology Conference participant, he strives to expand the accessibility, familiarity, and affordability of precise measurement technology.
A recent graduate of the University of Texas at Austin, Skyler earned degrees in Mechanical Engineering, Plan II Honors, Japanese Language & Culture, Asian Studies Honors – East Asia Specialization, and History with minors in Government and Mathematics. Throughout his time as an undergraduate, Skyler realized a passion for immigrant rights advocacy as a member of University Leadership Initiative (ULI), an affiliate of the United We Dream network, and currently serves as its Programs Coordinator overseeing the operations of ULI’s Dream Empowerment Education Program, Deportation Defense, and Own the Dream affiliate programs. As the legislative coordinator for the UndocuTexas campaign, Skyler has advocated for immigrant rights at the collegiate, local, and state level. During the 84th and 85th Texas legislative sessions, he worked alongside immigrant students from across Texas against anti-immigrant legislation, particularly the proposed repeals of the Texas Dream Act and harmful show-me-your-papers laws. As a founding member of the Texas Here to Stay coalition of nonprofit organizations dedicated to serving and protecting immigrant communities with legal and social resources, Skyler aided in developing and implementing immigration clinic models to screen for immigration relief eligibility, family emergency planning, DACA application assistance, Know Your Rights training, etc. that has served thousands of immigrants.
When he is not measuring a jet or on a conference call organizing the next legal clinic, Skyler is active in bolstering civic engagement registering voters as a volunteer deputy registrar in over 20 Texas counties and promoting progressive values in his local county Democratic Party and affiliated organizations. During the 85th legislative session, Skyler worked in the Office of State Senator Sylvia Garcia advancing bills to protect the rights of immigrants, expand access to voting, and catalyze energy efficiency while organizing against hateful and discriminatory legislation backed by Senate leadership. Throughout his time at the University of Texas, he was an avid member of University Democrats and Texas College Democrats, earning their inaugural Legacy Award and LBJ Member of the Year Award, respectively, in 2018. Volunteering for the campaigns of progressive candidates is a favorite pastime of Skyler’s having been trained in the art of running an effective campaign as a Kirk Watson Campaign Academy fellow and being a regular volunteer of fifteen campaigns during the 2018 election cycle. Skyler also engages with the academic side of politics having written an award-winning thesis analyzing the institutional entrenchment of the Democratic Party of Hawai’i and the prevalence of officeholders of Americans of Japanese Ancestry within Hawaiian government.
In the near future, Skyler aspires to attend law school and subsequently pursue a career in public interest, immigration, and parliamentary law in order to have a hand in developing progressive policies at the state legislature while also serving the community that has given his life purpose and a second family. In his leisure time, Skyler enjoys studying for the Japanese Language Proficiency Test, brushing up on state legislative rules, analyzing maps, and watching post-apocalyptic television shows.Less
Suma A. RuthUNT Dallas College of Law, Assistant Director of Career and Professional DevelopmentMore
Suma A. Ruth is the Assistant Director of Career and Professional Development at UNT Dallas College of Law.
Prior to joining UNT Dallas, Suma practiced law in the areas of family law, immigration law, and consumer bankruptcy, first at Mosaic Family Services, where she represented survivors of domestic abuse and human trafficking, and then in private practice in Dallas, Collin, and Tarrant counties.
Suma has also worked on policy issues related to children, both at the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma, where she focused on improvements to the state’s child nutrition programs and at Children at Risk, where she examined child welfare and juvenile delinquency systems.
Suma has been involved with several community organizations: She was a member of the Dallas Association of Young Lawyers Leadership Class of 2011, and served as Chair for the Lawyers Against Domestic Violence and Equal Access to Justice Committees. Since 2014, she has been an Executive Board member of the South Asian Bar Association of Dallas. In 2015, Suma joined the Letot Center Capital Foundation Board of Trustees and was appointed by the Commissioner’s Court to serve on the Dallas County Child Welfare Board of Directors.
Suma has served as Adjunct Faculty at both Strayer University and UNT Dallas College of Law. She obtained a B.A. in Government and Sociology from the University of Texas at Austin and a J.D. from the University of Oklahoma College of Law.
- Angel Radcliffe
- Anna Marsden
- Asia Bennett
- Brittney Farr
- Chanel Brown
- Hannah Alexander
- Jerry Crayton
- Joe Carreon
- Kimberly Sawyer
- Krystal Hargrove
- LaToya Rowell
- Lizzie MacWilie
- Punam Kaji
- Stephanie Flores
- Thomas Ervin
- Travis Cantwell
- Tyrone Smith
- Whitney Hampton
- Andrew Greenberg
- Bianca Anderson
- Brandon Vance
- Cordelia Tullous
- Danielle Pellett
- Derrik Gay
- Heather McKinney
- Jara Butler
- Jeff Casper
- Krista Nightengale
- Mercedes Fulbright
- Natasha Gordon
- Scott Smith