Volunteers have an enormous impact on the health and well-being of communities. Volunteers help to strengthen a community’s resilience by delivering critical services, such as volunteer firefighting and search and rescue. Volunteers tutor, teach, mentor and support young people with everything from homework to dealing with personal crises. Volunteers work tirelessly to keep neighborhoods, parks, rivers, green spaces and water clean and safe for everyone. This presentation will focus on the value of volunteers and the relationship of volunteers to a community’s resilience. Call to action cards will be provided allowing time to reflect on what each person will commit to doing in their own community. Cards will be provided to the DCCCD organizers for further discussion on how to grow volunteer opportunities. View PowerPoint presentation.
Fran Witte is the environmental programs coordinator for the city of Irving. She has been working 25 years in developing programs focusing on sustainability issues, such as waste reduction, energy and water conservation, improving soil quality, and increasing awareness about the importance of the region's air quality. Ms. Witte is a member of the Women in the Environment, Air and Waste Management Association, North American Association for Environmental Education, Ecological Society of America, Texas Association of Environmental Education and North Texas Association of Environmental Professionals. Ms. Witte is CERT (Community Emergency Response Team) volunteer for Denton County, certified Master Composter and a member of the Irving Radiological (RAD) team.
Becoming a responsible global citizen has never been more fun. Strategic use of digital communication tools, driven by design thinking, can turn idealism into social change. The principles of spreading ideas and starting a movement are introduced, along with an overview of creative catalysts who have turned activism into positive expressions of transformation and community building. Inspiration, humor and artfulness have replaced anger and aggression as the optimal incitements for changing the world.
Diana Souza, a Creative Communications Strategist, has worked as a leader and innovator on creative design teams in New York, New Orleans and Dallas. With a passion to serve social causes through the visual arts, she enjoys inspiring college students to use their skills for the higher good. Diana has authored and designed a study guide for instructors, “Sustainable Design: A Womanual for Designers & Change Agents” (available at
teacherspayteachers.com). She is Design Leader of a sustainable design group called The Green Rebellion.
The forces of political and corporate greed and gridlock have compromised American democracy. Social and environmental justice issues are not being fully addressed by top-down solutions. Nevertheless, effective grassroots organizing is a tried-and-true strategy to creating positive social change. Small groups and organizations are getting positive and far-reaching results from their work. This presentation and discussion will cover how to run a grassroots campaign — how to pick an issue and target, how to build power from your support base and volunteers and the steps to winning concrete changes in people’s lives. You’ll learn how Texas Campaign for the Environment is using these grassroots organizing tools to reduce waste and bolster recycling in the DFW metroplex.
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Corey Troiani is a native Texan who started his activist career in late 2011 at the University of North Texas fighting hydraulic fracturing in Denton neighborhoods. After graduating with a bachelor’s in anthropology, he co-founded a direct action campaign with activists and landowners to stop construction of the Keystone XL pipeline in East Texas. He joined TCE in early 2013, and has worked nonstop as a community organizer, field manager and now program director in the DFW office. Corey enjoys hiking, rock climbing, soap-making, and geeky stuff like graphic and print design