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Deborah Roberts

Texas Women’s Foundation has announced its Leadership Forum & Awards Celebration on April 30, 2024, at the Omni Dallas Hotel (555 S. Lamar St, Dallas, TX 75202). This day of learning, leadership and celebration starts with #BESTSELF, a half-day empowerment program for teen girls. Next, the event features Leadership Forums with the 2024 Maura Women Helping Women and Young Leader recipients discussing their journey. Finally, the evening concludes with the Awards Celebration and dinner, led by Deborah Roberts, Senior National Affairs Correspondent, ABC News Co-Anchor, ABC 20/20. Cynt Marshall, Dallas Mavericks CEO, will moderate a discussion with Roberts. 

Co-chairs for the event are business leaders and Foundation supporters Sakina Rasheed Foster,Haynes and Boone, LLP Partner and Office Managing Partner, and Veronica Torres Hazley, Founder of Hey Chica! 

Foster said, “We invite you to join us on April 30th as we listen, learn and are charged with uplifting our community and our colleagues. Starting with our #BESTSELF program, our community will share its collective wisdom and empower the next generation to become the best versions of themselves and leaders in their circles of influence.”
 
Hazley added, “Our program then shifts to our honorees who will inspire you with their stories. Their roles in academia, nonprofits, leadership and business have impacted thousands of women and girls and their families to create a better community for all. Plus, we’re honored to have Deborah Roberts of ABC be a part of the conversation.”
 
Maura Women Helping Women Award:
For 45 years, the Maura Women Helping Women Award has been presented to more than 225 courageous individuals who have catalyzed change for women and girls.
 
Brenda Jackson, selection co-chair, and Carrie Freeman Parsons, TXWF chairwoman and selection co-chair, led the committee to select the following honorees:
 
Heather Bellino (Austin, TX)
Texas Advocacy Project (TAP) 
Heather Bellino is a visionary leader dedicated to transforming lives as the CEO of Texas Advocacy Project. With a commitment to serving victims of domestic and dating violence, child abuse, stalking, sexual assault and human trafficking, she leads a team that provides crucial legal services to those victims. At the heart of her leadership lies a passion for advancing the lives of women and girls. Through TAP's initiatives, Heather raises awareness about critical issues, dismantles stigma, and fosters open dialogues, driving positive systemic change.
 
Marsha Clark (Frisco, TX)
Marsha Clark & Associates
Marsha Clark has become a driving force in the realm of leadership development, change management, strategic planning, performance management, team development and executive coaching. A visionary leader, she has dedicated more than 20 years to crafting and delivering leadership development programs tailored for women. She is also an Amazon best-selling author of Embracing Your Power. Complementing her literary success, she hosts a weekly podcast titled Your Authentic Path to Powerful Leadership, accessible on MarshaClarkandAssociates.com.
 
Adeeba A. Raheem, Ph.D. (El Paso, TX)
The University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP)
Dr. Adeeba Raheem, UTEP associate professor of Civil Engineering, uses her academic prowess to help students. She has a multi-million dollar research portfolio with funding from U.S. federal agencies and non-profit organizations, which is directed towards supporting women and economically disadvantaged students in civil and construction engineering. For a decade, she has also been leading a construction safety training program where a large number of women representing diverse socio-economic backgrounds have been trained on occupational safety topics.
 
Jamila Thomas (Dallas, TX)
Big Brothers Big Sisters Greater Dallas
Jamila Thomas serves as senior vice president for Big Brothers Big Sisters and is responsible for establishing the strategic plan for corporate and community engagement. She also serves as an executive board member for Pipelines to Possibilities, an organization founded by four African American women judges focused on educating students on the justice system. Jamila helped establish the first Racial Equity Office in Dallas ISD and founded Cultured Consulting Group, an organization committed to the implementation of culturally responsive leadership best practices.
 
Young Leader Award: 
The Young Leader Award recognizes breakthrough leadership exhibited by a trailblazer who is achieving success in a field, initiative or sector, and creating a path of opportunity for other women to follow. This year’s recipients:
 
Cimajie Best (Dallas, TX)
Allyn Media
Cimajie Best, an account executive with Allyn Media, is a trusted advisor to clients facing public affairs challenges, public relations opportunities, political elections and landmark fundraising campaigns. As a skilled tactician in capacity building and stakeholder management, she is a strong racial equity advocate and program evaluator. Cimajie works with nonprofits, foundations, elected officials and communities to create inclusive outcomes for all parties involved. She is a staunch advocate for collaborations, partnerships and a collective impact approach to producing change.
 
Hilda H. McClure (Addison, TX)
Cannenta Center for Healing and Empowerment
Hilda McClure, COO at Cannenta Center for Healing and Empowerment and a founding board member at Cannenta Foundation, is a skilled bilingual Licensed Professional Counselor specializing in adult therapy and trauma-focused counseling. Driven by a dedication to youth well-being, she pioneered an evidence-based program for children and single mothers in residential care. Committed to community growth, she trains professionals in serving Hispanic families and navigating the acculturation process.
 
Schedule:
10:30 a.m.-2:00 p.m. #BESTSELF 
With the theme “Be Empowered,” #BESTSELF is a transformative program that unites girls aged 13-16, along with their educators and allies, for a day dedicated to empowerment. The goal is to assist these girls in embracing and embodying their "best selves." Facilitated by subject-matter experts, the sessions focus on bolstering self-confidence and inspiring girls to challenge stereotypes, amplify their voices, pursue their dreams, mentor one another, and contribute to positive change for equity in schools, communities and society.
 
4:00-5:45 p.m. Leadership Forums – award recipients in a moderated conversations
 
5:45-6:30 p.m. General Reception
 
6:30-8:00 p.m.  Awards Dinner, presentation and panel discussions; Deborah Roberts serves as moderator
 
Information/Sponsorships:
To learn more about this event and purchase a sponsorship, visit https://txwfleadership.org/
 
For those interested in sponsorship, contact Joy Busch at lfad@txwf.orgjbusch@txwf.org or 917-279-6077.
 
About Texas Women’s Foundation: 
As Texas Women’s Foundation (TXWF) nears its 40th year, it is clear that now more than ever is the time to elevate Texas women. By working with women, families and communities, they are building a stronger, more equitable Texas. TXWF raises funding from a broad base of donors, including individuals, foundations and corporations. These resources support more than $7.1 million in investments that advance economic security and leadership for Texas women and girls through timely research, advocacy, grants and strategic initiatives. Since inception in 1985, TXWF has invested $78.9 million in women and girls. Their statewide research on issues affecting women and girls provides decision-makers and lawmakers with critical data to inform policies, practices and programs in the state. Its advocacy, grantmaking and leadership initiatives support solutions that help Texas women and girls thrive. In addition, Texas Women’s Foundation is an acknowledged leader and advocate in the gender lens investing movement and has deployed 100 percent of its invested assets – endowments, operating investments and donor-advised funds – in a gendered impact portfolio that yields strong financial returns and social benefits to women and girls. For more information, visit www.txwf.orgFacebookTwitterLinkedIn or Instagram or donate now
 
 
BIOS: 
 
Deborah Roberts
Deborah Roberts is an award-winning ABC News correspondent and co-anchor of the prestigious news magazine, “20/20.” A media veteran, Roberts has traveled the world for her reporting. She also serves as a substitute anchor for “Good Morning America” as well as a guest co-host on “The View.” 
 
Her in-depth coverage of current events has earned her a Peabody Award for the “20/20” special “Say Her Name: Breonna Taylor.” She has been awarded multiple Emmy® Awards for international and national coverage of world events, including the AIDS crisis in Africa and maternal mortality in Bangladesh.  
 
Roberts is the author of “Lessons Learned and Cherished: The Teacher Who Changed My Life”, a New York Times Bestseller. She’s also authored a book with her husband, Al Roker, called “Been There, Done That: Family Wisdom For Modern Times.” She currently resides in New York City with her husband. They have two children.  
 
Recipient Bios:
Heather Bellino (Austin, TX)
Texas Advocacy Project
Heather Bellino is a visionary leader dedicated to transforming lives as the CEO of Texas Advocacy Project (TAP). With a commitment to serving victims of domestic and dating violence, child abuse, sexual assault and human trafficking, Heather leads a team that provides crucial legal services to those in need.
 
Her leadership is marked by TAP's core values of innovation, integrity, courage and empowerment. Heather is constantly seeking new ways to address complex challenges in an ever-evolving world. Under her guidance, TAP has experienced remarkable growth, with the budget expanding from $900k to $5M.

Heather's influence extends beyond TAP; she's a member of Texas Council on Family Violence's Public Policy Committee and has earned an appointment to the Governor's Human Trafficking Prevention Task Force. Her expertise benefits aspiring leaders as she mentors participants in the University of Texas Executive Master in Public Leadership Program. Recognized for her expertise and advocacy, Heather is sought after for interviews by media outlets and podcasts.

At the heart of Heather's leadership lies a passion for advancing the lives of women and girls. Through TAP's initiatives, she continues to raise awareness about critical issues, dismantles stigma, and fosters open dialogues, driving positive systemic change.
 
Marsha Clark (Frisco, TX)
Marsha Clark & Associates
Marsha Clark is an independent consultant and coach who charted her entrepreneurial journey in 2000, establishing her own company. With a rich background at EDS, where she ascended from secretary to corporate officer during her 21-year tenure, Marsha brings a wealth of corporate experience to her consulting practice.
 
Over the past two decades, Marsha has become a driving force in the realm of leadership development, change management, strategic planning, performance management, team development and executive coaching. A visionary leader, she has dedicated over 20 years specifically to crafting and delivering leadership development programs tailored for women. Marsha's unique approach revolves around a comprehensive four-stage developmental framework, progressing from the personal to the interpersonal, extending to teams, and ultimately impacting entire organizations. This holistic methodology ensures nuanced growth and development, fostering the emergence of dynamic leaders. Marsha's global leadership and executive development programs have garnered worldwide recognition, solidifying her reputation as a prominent figure in the field. 
 
Marsha is not only a seasoned consultant but also an Amazon Best Selling Author in two categories for her book, Embracing Your Power. Complementing her literary success, she hosts a weekly podcast titled Your Authentic Path to Powerful Leadership, accessible on MarshaClarkandAssociates.com. Anticipated in 2024 is the release of the second installment in Marsha's 3-part book series, Expanding Your Power: A Woman’s Opportunity to Inspire Teams and Influence Organizations.

Adeeba A. Raheem, Ph.D. (El Paso, TX)

The University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP)
Adeeba A. Raheem, Ph.D. earned her Ph.D. in Construction Management from the University of Florida and holds master’s degrees in Building Construction, Environmental Engineering and Civil Engineering. A tenured Associate Professor and Director of the Construction Safety Program at the University of Texas, El Paso, she's a member of the President’s Advisory Committee on Sustainability and Academic Innovation Committee at UTEP. Dr. Raheem has a multi-million dollar research portfolio with funding from U.S. federal agencies and non-profit organizations, which is strategically directed towards supporting women and economically disadvantaged students in the Civil and Construction Engineering programs at UTEP. 

Dr. Raheem has also been leading a construction safety training program at UTEP for the past 10 years, funded by the U.S. Department of Labor through the prestigious Susan Harwood Targeted Training Program. Under her leadership, a large number of women representing diverse socio-economic backgrounds have been trained on various occupational safety topics. The team has provided over 20,000 training hours across multiple cities in West Texas, benefiting more than 400 small businesses. 

Dr. Raheem has received several prestigious national, regional, and university awards, recognizing her unwavering commitment to inclusive teaching, applied research, and dedicated service to the local industry and community. 
 
Jamila Thomas (Dallas, TX)
Big Brothers Big Sisters Greater Dallas
Jamila Thomas is a 2019 Presidential Leadership Scholar appointed by the Presidential Centers of William J. Clinton, George H.W. Bush, George W. Bush and Lyndon B. Johnson. She is the Founder of Women Divine, a philanthropic organization she founded 15 years ago focused on educating, inspiring, and empowering young women. Jamila now serves as the Senior Vice President for Big Brothers Big Sisters and is responsible for establishing the strategic plan for corporate and community engagement. In addition, she serves on the Big Brothers Big Sisters of America Justice, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (JEDI) committee that reaches over 250 local agencies across the United States with innovative and transformational activations. 
 
Jamila also serves as an executive board member for Pipelines to Possibilities, an organization founded by four African American women judges focused on educating students on the justice system. As a result of her success in establishing the first Racial Equity Office in Dallas ISD, which focused on culturally responsive curriculum and policy development, she founded Cultured Consulting Group an organization committed to the implementation of culturally responsive leadership best practices. Jamila has been married to Brandon Thomas for 22 years, and they have two beautiful children Braylon and Jaidence. 
 
Cimajie Best (Dallas, TX)
Allyn Media
Cimajie Best is a trusted advisor to clients facing public affairs challenges, public relations opportunities, political elections and landmark fundraising campaigns. As a skilled tactician in capacity building and stakeholder management, she is a strong racial equity advocate and program evaluator. Her expertise guides clients' winning strategies with government affairs, media messaging and community outreach. Cimajie works with nonprofits, foundations, elected officials and communities to create inclusive outcomes for all parties involved.

Having launched programs for organizations such as the State Fair of Texas and the Texas Christian University, she is a staunch advocate for collaborations, partnerships, and a collective impact approach to producing lasting change in communities.

Cimajie served on the Dallas County Child Welfare board and currently serves on the boards of the Moorland Family YMCA at Oak Cliff, Healthy Future of Texas, Making it Count and Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas. She is an SVP Dana Juett Resident Alum, a Communities Foundation of Texas, Emerging Leader in Philanthropy Alum, as well as an Obama Foundation Community Leader Alum.

She holds a bachelor’s degree in Philosophy & Africana Studies from Louisiana State University as well as a certificate in Social Entrepreneurship from Oxford.
 
Hilda H. McClure (Addison, TX)
Cannenta Center for Healing and Empowerment
Hilda H. McClure, COO at Cannenta Center for Healing and Empowerment and a founding board member at Cannenta Foundation, holds a master's in Counseling and a bachelor's in Early Childhood Education. As a skilled bilingual Licensed Professional Counselor, specializing in adult therapy and trauma-focused counseling, she passionately supports individuals facing mental health challenges.

Driven by a dedication to youth well-being, Hilda pioneered an evidence-based program for children and single mothers in residential care. Committed to community growth, she trains professionals in serving Hispanic families and navigating the acculturation process. Hilda shares expertise through op-ed pieces and LinkedIn articles, while her role as a professor enriches future professionals with insights into child development and psychology. Her leadership and commitment to empowering others helps shape a stronger, more resilient community.


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