2:05 p.m. -- 3:05 p.m.
This panel discussion will focus on the role of norms in countering, or preferably, supporting community peace and thriving youth. Councilman Samuels will share a photovoice project from young people in Minneapolis focused on the theme of Community Peace & Thriving Youth. Community leaders will talk about the efforts they are undertaking to prevent violence in their respective communities.
Panelists: Councilman Don Samuels (Minneapolis), Councilman Paul Lopez (Denver), Mariko Lockhart (Seattle) and Sheila Savannah (Houston). Moderated by Derrick Boazman
Derrick Boazman, a native Atlantan, was born and reared on Atlanta’s southside. In 1997, he was elected to the Atlanta City Council and was re-elected for his second term in 2001. Councilmember Boazman resigned his seat on the city council in April 2004. He received his bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Morris Brown College, where he began his political career as President of the Student Government Association. He serves as a certified trainer teaching community leadership and organizational development skills for Midwest Academy, an instruction entity that travels throughout the country, and at the Fanning Leadership Institute of the University of Georgia in Athens. He has also served as an instructor at the Community Development Institute at Clark Atlanta University. As a German Marshall Fund Fellow, he traveled abroad throughout Europe studying state, local and national government issues. His travels took him to Brataslava, Slovakia, Berlin, Germany, Marseille, France, Copenhagen, Denmark, and Brussels, Belgium. Mr. Boazman was also selected by the American Council of Young Political Leaders. This organization is a bipartisan leadership development program that identifies promising younger leaders under the age of 40 and provides them with opportunity to travel abroad to examine the impact of U.S. foreign policy. He has also traveled to Egypt and Israel. Councilmember Boazman is an outspoken advocate for the rights of minorities and has appeared on CNN’s Talkback Live, Nightline, Court TV, dozens of nationally syndicated radio programs, as well as being interviewed by the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times and the New Yorker Magazine.
Denver City Councilman Paul D. López is a home-grown champion for working families. While earning a degree at the University of Colorado, he fought to improve recruitment, retention and graduation of low income students. As a community organizer, he went to work in Denver’s poorest neighborhoods to protect affordable housing and quality public health care. As a union organizer, López took on employers who violated worker’s rights by bringing thousands of Denver-area janitors and their families to the bargaining table. On May 1, 2006, López convened human rights leaders to organize the largest political march in Colorado history bringing over 100,000 marchers to the steps of the Colorado State Capitol in support of humane comprehensive immigration reform. Elected in 2007 to West Denver’s District 3, at 28-years old López became the youngest Denver City Council Member to ever take the oath of office. The underdog in a field of seven candidates, his bold vision, energetic persona, and relentless grassroots organizing challenged the political establishment with a 46% general election majority and 62% runoff victory. Utilizing a practical legislative approach, Councilman López is regarded as a champion of civil rights and a fighter for those who face the injustice of poverty. A rising star in the Colorado and national political scene, López’s bullhorn-wielding conviction and energy has transformed him into a passionate and dynamic leader who defined the phrase “community organizer” and is steadfastly redefining the role of “Councilman."
Mariko Lockhart directs the Seattle Youth Violence Prevention Initiative, a comprehensive community-based strategy to reduce and prevent youth violence in the areas of the city most affected. Mariko is an experienced non-profit executive, consultant, facilitator and trainer with a strong track record leading public-private community collaborations to benefit disadvantaged populations. As a recent past president and state director of Communities In Schools of New Jersey (CISNJ), she was responsible for the management and operations of the state-wide dropout prevention organization. During her tenure at CISNJ, she established four independent affiliate organizations in high-need school districts. Mariko has significant experience in working with diverse communities and coordinated the broad-based citywide public planning effort to set education goals for the City of Newark’s successful application for federal designation as an Enterprise Community. Mariko is a magna cum laude graduate of Yale University and holds a master’s degree in Public Administration from New York University’s Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service. Mariko also completed leadership seminars at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management and the Aspen Institute’s Community Roundtable on Racial Equity and Youth Development. She is fluent in Spanish, having lived in Central America working in international development for seven years. She currently serves on the board of the Leadership Institute of Seattle.
Don Samuels immigrated to the US from Jamaica in 1970 to study Industrial Design. He resigned his position as Senior Director of Research & Development at Playskool to head his own small business, inventing and designing toys for major toy manufacturers. Don also graduated with a Masters of Divinity in 2001 from the Luther Seminary. After emerging as a strong voice for peace in his North Minneapolis neighborhood, Don was urged by his neighbors to run for public office. With their support, Don was first elected to the Minneapolis City Council in February 2003. Don Co-chairs the Executive Committee of the Empowerment Zone Board, is the Chair of the Public Safety and Regulatory Services Committee, and serves as the only Northside representative on the City’s Community Development Committee. As a public servant, Don has kept his focus on the Northside’s three most pressing issues: safety, housing and jobs. Don has brought over $2 million additional resources for public safety in personnel and technology, he has attracted over $100 Million in economic development to West Broadway, $100 million development to Penn and Plymouth and helped bring over 1,000 jobs to youth and the hard to employ. Don consistently works to recruit quality employers to North Minneapolis. In his role as a Council Member, he has helped direct Empowerment Zone and Community Development funds to North Minneapolis-based employment services. He also co-sponsored a resolution to restrict when the City of Minneapolis can ask applicants if they have been convicted of a crime, thus allowing qualified and rehabilitated ex-felon job seekers a greater chance of attaining employment with the city. Don is the Founder of the PEACE Foundation - Public Engagement and Community Empowerment connecting regional partners and local resident in collaborations to end violence. He also founded the African American Economic Development Committee, to support the development of African American businesses in the city. With his wife Sondra, Don also founded the Institute for Authentic Dialogue on race, which guides executives and leaders in conversations and relationships across race with unprecedented clarity and mutuality.
Sheila Savannah, MA is the senior staff member at the Human Services for the City of Houston Department of Health and Human Services where she manages the Community Health Development and Program Improvement (CHDPI) unit in the Office of Health Planning, Evaluation and Program Development. This unit is responsible for advancing HDHHS as a thought leader in community public health through the sustainable development of its programming especially in the areas of Adolescent Health and Safety; Food Security and Community Nutrition; and Health Promotion and Education. She formerly served as bureau chief for human services at HDHHS, as senior-staff for City Council Member Ada Edwards and as executive director of a community-based organization that designed and operated programs to address behavioral health, youth development and family self-sufficiency. Sheila has over 28 years experience in policy and programming; holds a bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Texas and a master's degree in psychology from the University of Houston-Clear Lake with training as an art therapist. She has written children’s books and served as national advisor in the areas of cultural competency, youth development and community capacity building.