2018 Opening Forum


2018 Opening Forum



CHALLENGE #1: Smita Rawoot & Eric Wilson | Smita Rawoot is an urban planner, architect, and urban designer. She's the associate director for global delivery at Rockefeller Foundation's 100 Resilient Cities (100RC) program, where she heads solution delivery for 29 North American cities. A planning and design professional for more than 18 years, Rawoot has supported development of inclusive communities with vibrant public realms and environmentally and economically sustainable places.

CHALLENGE #2: Maria Gabriela "Gaby" Pacheco is program director at TheDream.US, a college access and success program for immigrant youth without documentation. She began advocating for immigrants in college, helping start a Florida-based group pushing for in-state tuition for undocumented students and co-leading the 2010 Trail of Dreams, a four-month walk from Miami to Washington, DC, to call attention to the plight of immigrant families under threat of deportation.

CHALLENGE #3: Ann Kim is a portfolio director at IDEO Cambridge, focused on health and public sector issues. At IDEO since 2011, she has led a multiyear HIV-prevention collaboration with USAID and worked with US Citizenship and Immigration Services to transform the immigration application experience.

CHALLENGE #4: Michael Sorrell is president of Paul Quinn College, an institution now recognized for its innovative approach to higher education. During his ten-year tenure, the college has transformed its football field into the We Over Me Farm to battle local food desert conditions, become the first federally recognized urban Work College, and won the HBCU of the Year Award, among other achievements.

CHALLENGE #5: Lonzo Anderson is a police executive with over 20 years of experience at the Dallas Police Department. Sworn in as a police officer in 1997, he was promoted to senior corporal in 2002 and served 4.5 years recruiting and conducting background investigations.

CHALLENGE #6: Chris Plutte is an entrepreneur and leader in the fields of education, media, and conflict resolution. He is executive director of Global Nomads Group (GNG), which leverages technology, storytelling, and personal connection to enable conversation between students around the world and promote the traits they will need to tackle pressing issues.


Live Performance: Jon Boogz and Lil Buck perform live at Aspen Challenge 2018 Dallas

Interview: Jon Boogz and Lil Buck | Co-Founded by Jon Boogz and Lil Buck, Movement Art Is is an organization that uses movement artistry to inspire and change the world while elevating the artistic, educational, and social impact of dance. Adam Erickson, director of Communications for ArtPlace America moderates the conversation.


Competition Opening | Superintendent Michael Hinojosa at the the 2018 Aspen Challenge: Dallas Competition

Golden Bear Gardners | We are promoting access to healthier foods by building a series of community gardens to support our school and community. To scale this initiative, our goal is to provide widespread access to the gardens and educate people about growing and harvesting fresh fruits and vegetables

Woodrow WiIson High School | We are developing and implementing a traveling farmers market to provide free and fresh food to the public with produce grown in Dallas ISD public school gardens.

H Grady Spruce High School | We will improve access to healthy foods and educate the Pleasant Grove community about healthy lifestyle choices by building a community greenhouse.

North Dallas High School | By bringing healthy foods closer to consumers, we will inspire youth to make better food choices and to help make a difference in our communities for a better tomorrow.

Seagoville High School | Connection is contagious. Intention uses connections to cause a chain reaction of respectful behavior throughout our community. By encouraging teachers and students to interact in a non-academic setting, we can build these connections and reduce disrespectful behavior on our campus.

Bryan Adams High School | We are addressing loneliness by establishing a mentor and buddy system within our school that matches lower classmen with upper classmen to ensure their stay at Bryan Adams feels welcoming. We will expand throughout our school feeder pattern and aspire to impact our entire city

W H Adamson High School | We are creating a campaign that builds understanding of and compassion toward those experiencing loneliness by forming a strong, healing network among local churches, businesses, and schools.

Justin F Kimball High School | By hosting a series of "Remember the Times" events, we will bring back old-fashioned face-toface interactions that inspire and motivate others to connect back to what matters the most - cultivating meaningful relationships!

W.W. Samuell High School | We are encouraging interaction between and support for students and staff at Samuell High School by utilizing social media and hosting community events where participants can learn more about addressing the issue of loneliness.

W T White High School | Using social media platforms, we will connect with students worldwide to create intercultural understanding, dispel stereotypes, and improve relations among people from other countries.

L G Pinkston High School | We will dispel misconceptions of other cultures and races around the world by creating a website for youth to share their life stories and cultures.

Hillcrest High School | To improve cultural understanding, we are inviting our community to join us in a workshop where we learn about other cultures through food, games, prizes, and music.

Franklin D Roosevelt High School | In order to make streets safer for pedestrians, especially school-aged pedestrians, Stray Paws is committed to decreasing the number of stray dogs in the area by increasing patrols and raising awareness of the 311 phone app and free spay and neutering services.

Moises E Molina High School | M4A promotes community cohesion and equitable development by improving access to safe mobility across all types of transit. We will identify common themes and issues throughout the southern sector and propose solutions to private-sector companies whose interests align with the mission of M4A.

Wilmer Hutchins High School | S.T.P. will build bridges among the officers who keep us Safe, the community that Trusts us, and the students who have designed these Partnerships.

Skyline High School | We will organize a Pleasant Grove community block party to build authentic relationships, promote safety, and improve trust with the Dallas Police Department.

Sunset High School | We are creating a resource center in Sunset High School to help the undocumented population in our neighborhood successfully transition to their new country and to offer financial planning resources.

Thomas Jefferson High School | WE will create inclusive spaces for all people who feel ashamed of their legal status. We will create community groups that meet consistently to inform and empower immigrants to feel safe and accepted in their new community.

David W Carter High School | Our team is increasing empathy by bringing immigrants' stories to light through art and changing minds one step at a time. Our team is focused on awareness, inspiration, empowerment, change, and unity.

Emmett J Conrad High School | We work with organizations, educators, and students to dispel stereotypes between immigrants and the community in which they reside and equip immigrants with tools to thrive in American society.

Announcement of the 2018 Aspen Challenge: Dallas Awards


Inspirational Speaker | Byron Sanders is president and CEO of Big Thought, where he explores innovative ways to narrow the opportunity gap for children. He was previously vice president for U.S. Trust, the private bank of Bank of America; executive director of the Dallas Education Foundation; and vice president of Group Excellence, a mentoring and tutoring organization serving at-risk K-12 students.

Inspirational Speaker | Zachary Epps at the 2018 Aspen Challenge Dallas

Inspirational Speaker | Kanika Carver at Aspen Challenge: Dallas 2018