According to Mayor’s Star Council President Lane Conner,
Founded in Dallas eight years ago by Trey Bowles and Mayor Mike Rawlings directly after he took office, Mayor’s Star Council is an organization focused on identifying a diverse set of young leaders who are already civically active, and expanding their leadership journey through our intentional curriculum. We have a saying that we do not want to inherit our parents’ or grandparents’ city in 20 years. We are ready to be a part of the conversation and act now.
Our curriculum is a yearlong program with three pillars: Learn, Connect, and Serve. Each month focuses on a current topic impacting the City of Dallas. One example is our January initiative when we focus on homelessness and housing. First we learn from experts in the business, nonprofit and public sectors who educate class members about these topics. Then we serve alongside our community partner, the Metro Dallas Homeless Alliance, by participating in the Point In Time Homeless Count.
Our annual conference, Engage Dallas, is a primer for young professionals who are not currently in the cohort to have a day long experience of being in MSC, and provides direct opportunities for engagement in Dallas. This year our keynote was a conversation between President George W. Bush and Mayor Mike Rawlings discussing the value of local leadership. Over six hundred people attended Engage Dallas in 2019, and we are excited to host an even larger event in March, 2020.
One of the chief benefits and clear goals of MSC is the bond that participants make with each other and the tribe that forms. Class members find allies who don’t look or sound like each other but feel a moral obligation to stand up, disrupt, and take action. Each class builds a network of like-hearted individuals who, as alumni, are incredibly involved in our city. MSC members are CEOs of nonprofits, City Council members, and serve on City and County Boards and Commissions including Parks and Recreation, DART, City Planning, and more.
Two alumni worth highlighting are Justin Henry from Class 2 and Sasha Moreno from Class 5. Justin was elected to DISD Board of Trustees in June 2018, and was recently selected as President of the School Board. Following Sasha’s participation in MSC, she successfully ran for Dallas County Justice of the Peace and currently serves in Precinct 4.
The support we receive on North Texas Giving Day helps us to continue our mission to create the next group of Upstanders — people who do when others don’t — to lead our city. We are thrilled to participate in NTGD as part of a greater collaboration to improve the lives of our citizens. Our hope is to encourage an increasingly diverse set of young professionals to give of their time and money. Giving at every level does make a difference!
* Graphic/photo provided by Mayor's Star Council
In ten years, Communities Foundation of Texas’ North Texas Giving Day has pumped more than $240 million into the North Texas community. In 2018, more than $48 million was raised through more than 157,000 gifts benefiting over 2,700 area nonprofits.