Founding Member and President of Artstillery, Ilknur Ozgur has an Master’s degree in Theatre, Communications and Public Relations. She is a Chicago native and almost considers herself a Texan after 7 years of residency. For over 6 years she worked with Blue Man group with the Company Management Team. While working at the Goodman Theater, she felt unlucky to have worked with Brian Dennehy and fortunate to have created a friendship with the late Arthur Miller. In partnership she helped create Urban Theater Co. which worked primarily in urban Chicago neighborhoods producing new works. During this time, she was able to produce Imitation Haitian for the New York Fringe Festival. Since arriving to Dallas, she became a cofounder of Dead White Zombies and now serves as a company manager.
Dr. Michelle Forbes is obsessed with integrating personal experience and life history into current perspectives to create a sustainable and equitable future for all. She bravely embarked on her educational and career journey to become a physician with two preschool children in tow and enough resilience to move mountains. Her medical education and training include an MD from University of Texas Southwestern Medical School and residency at Children's Health in Dallas. Furthering her passion of strong leadership in healthcare, she holds a Certificate of Physician Leadership from Naveen Jindal School of Management at UT Dallas and commencement from Stagen Leadership Academy. She has amassed decades of experience practicing pediatric medicine, leading physician focused and community-based organizations and providing medical consulting for numerous healthcare companies including Veradigm, RxTruePrice, Surescripts, and McKesson. Because she believes supportive relationships are vital to physician and patient success, she currently holds multiple leadership roles pursuing this value daily. She is Chief Medical Officer of Plano-based Catalyst Health Network, a clinically integrated healthcare organization supporting primary care physicians and their patients, as well as Medical Director of Catalyst Community Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to expanding access to quality primary care in traditionally overlooked and underserved neighborhoods. A strong believer in walking the path together, she relishes and seeks out opportunities to collaborate and create with like-minded individuals and organizations in pursuit of creating higher ground for our collective communities.
A South Dallas native, Diane Ragsdale is a founder of South Dallas/Fair Park Innercity Community Development Corporation (ICDC) which was founded in 1986 and has been the Managing Director of ICDC since 2004. Under her leadership the South Dallas/Fair Park Innercity Community Development Corporation (ICDC) continues its mission of building lives and revitalizing neighborhoods with several ongoing initiatives. These initiatives include building over 250 homes, providing much needed home ownership opportunities; purchasing and revitalizing a retail center; introducing low-income inner-city youth to the possibilities of business ownership as a viable career option; building an office complex for commercial and retail development; creating a business incubator center to support the growth of new and existing businesses; building a health care facility and the development of a partnership with Dallas College to provide work training programs from the South Dallas Training Center located on ICDC’s campus. Ms. Ragsdale’s journey as a childhood activist, an organizer, a City Plan Commission member, Registered Nurse, Dallas City Council member and founder and Director of the community-based nonprofit, South Dallas/ Fair Park Inner-city Community Development Corporation have all continued to provide her with knowledge and valuable experiences that will move the struggle for justice forward. Ms. Ragsdale’s work and her witness are reinforced by her fervent belief that there are many blessings in serving the community. She is driven by the Biblical admonition, “whatsoever you do unto the least of these” and by the directive from the prophet Micah to Do Justice.
Dr. Deborah Houk is a mother, wife, and board-certified Internal Medicine Physician currently in Naples, FL but from Dallas, TX. She completed her Bachelors and Masters degrees at Stanford University, went on to achieve her MD at George Washington University, then finished her training with internal medicine residency at Yale. In addition to medicine and family, Dr. Houk’s passions include optimizing life experiences and helping others develop into their best selves through mindfulness, mentorship, and coaching. Dr. Houk works as a hospitalist at Physician’s Regional Medical Center and is an executive committee member of Naples Heart Rhythm Specialists.
Katie Anderson is an internationally recognized leadership and learning coach, consultant, and professional speaker, best known for inspiring individuals and organizations to lead with intention and increase their personal and professional impact. Katie is passionate about helping people around the world learn to lead and lead to learn by connecting purpose, process, and practice to achieve higher levels of performance. Her book. Learning to Lead, Leading to Learn, based on the work of Toyota Leader Isao Yoshino, is an international #1 Amazon best seller. Learn more at KBJAnderson.com and LearningtoLeadLeadingtoLearn.com.
Kim Crowder, Founder & CEO of Kim Crowder Consulting, is one of the country’s leading Anti-Racism, Diversity, Inclusion, and Equity Speakers, Coaches, Trainers, and Consultants. Kim and her teamwork across industries serving U.S. and international markets, from retailers to insurers to governmental agencies and the social sector. From Adobe to Good Catch Foods to Target, the American Library Association, Receipt-Bank, HarperCollins Publishers, and on, Kim and her team provide leaders and companies actionable tools to move initiatives forward long term. Kim has been named by Forbes as one of the “Top Anti-Racism Educators Companies Need Now,” A Top 10 Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Expert by All American, and Top Influential African American Business Women To Follow by LinkedIn. She is also a member of the MIT Technology Review Global Panel and For(bes) The Culture. She has been featured for her expertise by The New York Times, Business Insider, Cheddar News, The Tammi Mac Late Show, CBS, NBC, FOX, Katie Couric Media, regularly by Forbes, on Hubspot’s podcast, The Growth Show, Workology, and As Told By Nomads.
She’s back providing another episode of knowledge. In this episode, Dr. Booker-Drew shares 12 lessons she learned early in her leadership journey. Dr. Froswa’ Booker-Drew has an impressive resume of experiences and accomplishments that make her the perfect person to write on leadership, building relationships, philanthropy, faith and community development. She has built a diverse network of individuals and organizations around the world. Froswa’ has more than 25 years of experience in leadership development, training, nonprofit management, education, and social services. Dr. Froswa; is the author of four books, an adjunct professor at Tulane University, research affiliate at Antioch University and a columnist for Texas Metro News. To learn more about her work, visit drfroswabooker.com.
Bemnet is passionate about justice and equity. A nonprofit professional, experienced in creating impactful programs, managing philanthropic dollars and creating sustainable communities. She loves traveling, working with young people and being a policy junkie. Bemnet is a respected speaker and researcher on Black experiences and her work can be found in national publications and the British Journal of Social Work. Bemnet is proud of her community work, most notably her role as the first Black Immigrant President of the Dallas-Fort Worth Urban League Young Professionals and as a founding member of HERitage Giving Circle. Bemnet received her bachelor’s and master’s at Dallas Baptist University and University of Texas at Arlington respectively, joining other social workers and community practitioners. Although born in Ethiopia, Bemnet has lived in Dallas, Texas for most of her life. In this episode, we discuss the role of mentors, learning from your past, and the importance of equity focused work.
Vicki Meek, born and raised in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, is a nationally recognized artist who has exhibited widely. Meek is in the permanent collections of the African American Museum in Dallas, The Museum of Fine Arts in Houston, Fort Wayne Museum of Art in Indiana, Paul Quinn College in Dallas, Serie Art Project in Austin and Norwalk Community College in Norwalk, Connecticut. She was awarded three public arts commissions with the Dallas Area Rapid Transit Art Program and was co-artist on the largest public art project in Dallas, the Dallas Convention Center Public Art Project. Vicki Meek has been awarded a number of grants and honors including National Endowment for the Arts NFRIG Grant, Dallas Observer MasterMind Award, Dallas Museum of Art Otis and Velma Davis Dozier Travel Grant, Texas Black Filmmakers Mission Award, Women of Visionary Influence Mentor Award, Dallas Women’s Foundation Maura Award, nominated for the Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation Award, the African American Museum at Dallas A. Maceo Smith Award for Cultural Achievement and was selected as the 2021 Texas Artist of the Year by Art League of Houston. Meek was an adjunct faculty member for UMass Arts Extension Program in Amherst, Massachusetts where she taught a course in Cultural Equity in the Arts. With over 40+ years of arts administrative experience that includes working as a senior program administrator for a state arts agency, a local arts agency and running a non-profit visual arts center, after 20 years, Vicki Meek retired in March 2016 as the Manager of the South Dallas Cultural Center in Dallas. Vicki Meek currently spends time as Chief Operating Officer and Board Member of USEKRA: Center for Creative Investigation, a non-profit retreat for creatives in Costa Rica founded by internationally acclaimed performance artist Elia Arce. She is also Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson’s at-large appointment to the Arts and Culture Commission and the Public Art Committee. Meek is represented by Talley Dunn Gallery in Dallas, Texas.
Dr. Albert L. Reyes is President and CEO of Buckner International, a non-profit international ministry that serves orphans, vulnerable children, families, and seniors. He is the sixth President and CEO of the 143-year-old organization based in Dallas, Texas. He previously served as President of Buckner International and President of Buckner Children and Family Services. Prior to his service at Buckner, Reyes was president of Baptist University of the Américas in San Antonio. Reyes also has served as pastor of three churches and was involved in numerous roles within the Baptist General Convention of Texas, serving as its President in 2005. He serves as Vice President of the Baptist World Alliance representing Baptists in the United States of America. Reyes received a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from Angelo State University, and Master of Divinity and Doctor of Ministry degrees from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. He also earned a Doctor of Philosophy degree from Andrews University and completed post-doctoral study at the Oxford Centre for Mission Studies, Oxford, England. He is the author of The Jesus Agenda: Becoming an Agent of Redemption (Believers Press, 2015) and Hope Now: Peace, Healing, and Justice when the Kingdom comes near (Iron Stream Books, 2019). Reyes and his wife Belinda have three adult sons and are members of Park Cities Baptist Church in Dallas.