Matt Houston is Principal of MLH Enterprises, a Dallas-based firm that provides education, professional development, and leadership consulting to organizations across the country. Clients have included The Nelson Mandela Foundation, KIPP Charter School System, Centurion America, and other corporations in the north Texas
region. Matt was previously Executive Director of Group Excellence, a mentoring and tutoring company that provides
programs to schools across the country.
By hiring the best professionals, undergraduate and graduate students, and educators, Group Excellence sets the standard in preparing students for college and life. A desire to drive change, specifically in the area of economic equity for all, is Matt’s personal mission. Houston believes the path to success is through education and business creation.
To that end, Matt works tirelessly to advocate for new businesses, wealth and job creation, and communities that create and value their economic engines. Matt is currently a Professor of Entrepreneurship and Leadership at the University of North Texas at Dallas School of Business. Matt also serves as an executive board member of the Dallas Black Chamber of Commerce (serving as Chair from 2013-2015), the Trinity Commons Foundation, and the Dallas Chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), serving as Economic Development Chair, and other community and business organizations.
In his free time, Houston is an active member of Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship and is a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. Matt is a native of Dallas and earned his bachelor’s degree in Economics from Southern Methodist University (SMU) and his Masters of Business Administration degree from the Neely School of Business at Texas Christian University (TCU). He was also in the Blueprint for Leadership Program Class of 2008 (Center for Nonprofit Management) and Leadership Dallas Class of 2012 (Dallas Regional Chamber).
As Long Island native, Jason Richberg began his career in government in 2010, when he was named Chief of Staff to Suffolk County Legislator DuWayne Gregory. He has since served as both Chief Deputy Clerk and Clerk of the Suffolk County Legislature.
Jason Richberg’s years in government are rich with experience. He created Gregory’s Youth Leadership Caucus to mentor young adults from the community who volunteer their time on local service projects. In 2015, he created the Page Program; an intensive 12-week summer program which provides college-aged students experience in government through participation in a mock legislature.
Jason graduated from North Babylon High School and holds a baccalaureate degree in Political Science from Wilberforce University. While attending, he served as National Pan-Hellenic Council Chapter President as well as president of the Delta Chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi. He also designed the Power @ the Polls campus organization; a student-run vote initiative campaign on two college campuses in Ohio.
Jason Richberg is a proud Eagle Scout and has served as a member of the NAACP, the Urban League of Young Professionals, The Concerned Fathers of Wheatley Heights, and The 100 Black Men of Long Island. He is a past President of the Episcopal Diocese of Long Island’s Youth Council, as well as, his church youth group and formerly the Senior Warden of the Vestry.
In Fellowship with Politicorps, Jason helped found the Community Fellows Program, which taught school students civic engagement and coordinated a voter registration drive. At the end of his fellowship, he graduated from the Oregon-based program with Honors in Strategic Planning. Jason was also a Fellow with the non-partisan Young People For, where he received an award for Outstanding Achievement in Civic Engagement!
Jamel Vanderburg graduated Magna Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Science from Wilberforce University in 2009. He enjoyed student government and held several elected positions, including Vice-President of his Senior Class. His natural quantitative skills have served him well throughout his career. Upon graduation from Wilberforce, he returned home to Hempstead, New York to begin his career in accounting.
In 2009, Jamel was hired at the Actors’ Federal Union as a money services Business Analyst. Since 1999, Jamel has been the owner of Tutoring For Success, which has been geared towards helping elementary, middle, and high schoolers in math. In addition, he is a founding partner of Mella Business Consultants, Inc., where he focuses on helping young professionals start, structure, and steer their businesses for success.
Jamel completed a yearlong professional development and leadership program with the National Urban League Emerging Leaders Program in 2014. As a result, he developed an invaluable skill set for providing innovative leadership, fundraising, and overall service to meet the challenging needs of the community. In 2015, Jamel became a National Urban Fellow, where he received his Master of Public Administration from Baruch College in 2016. During this time, he honed his leadership skills and broadened his knowledge of the public sector and its policies. He volunteers his time and service with the Kappa Xi Lambda Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha, Fraternity Inc., as well as the National Urban League Young Professionals.
His passion for social justice has led him to tutor and mentor young students in Long Island and New York City. He is currently an adjunct professor at the New York Institute of Technology and St. John’s University, as well as a nonprofit consultant. Jamel has dedicated his life to serving others. He aspires to become a change agent for community planning and development in urban areas!
Marlene Guerrero Chavez
Marlene Guerrero Chavez is the oldest of six children and was raised by a single mother, who worked as a migrant farmworker traveling to Michigan and West Texas. She is proud to be the first in her family to obtain a college education. She studied Spanish Language and Literature at the Universidad de San Francisco de Quito in Ecuador and graduated from Kalamazoo College, where she received a BA in Anthropology/Sociology with a concentration in Media Studies.
Marlene is the Director of Community Outreach and Engagement for Texas Rio Grande Legal Aid, where she serves as a strategic partner–developing, implementing, and supporting the organization’s engagement and outreach agenda, which serves 68 counties throughout Texas!
Marlene has also volunteered with the CARA ProBono project, where she provided legal orientations to women and children incarcerated at the Dilley Detention Center and represented clients at their credible fear interviews. Marlene’s dedication to her work led her to become the recipient of the Proyecto Azteca Community Advocacy Award in 2015. She currently resides with her husband and 10-year-old son in Lago Vista, TX. She loves to run, write poetry, and drink coffee.
Mike Gallin is a native of the Bay Area, California, who saw first-hand the effects of poverty, inequitable educational access, and disenfranchisement on marginalized communities. He is the first member of his immediate family to graduate high school and pursue higher education, obtaining a Bachelor of Arts from UCLA, and master’s degrees from St. John’s University and Hunter College.
For more than a decade, Michael has advocated for holistic community development for under-represented communities through job creation, access to wealth, direct services, and education. He has worked in coalition with corporations, non-profits, government leaders, and community members to develop solutions that represented the needs of diverse communities.
Michael is currently an educator and certified school-based and district leader with the NYC Department of Education. He is passionate about ensuring equitable access to high-quality education for all students, while also ensuring that their holistic needs are met. During his time as an educator, Michael was selected as a Stanford University Hollyhock Fellow, participated in the Eskolta Academic and Personal Behavior Institute, and worked with the Mastery Collaborative NYC. His inquiry-based approach to supporting the mindsets and socio-emotional needs of students struggling in math was profiled in the Washington Post!
Jessica Smith-Peterson is a graduate of the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) and Howard University School of Law. She is a 2010 YP4 Alum, whose Blueprint for social justice focused on education and ensuring that culturally relevant education was often discussed and applied.
Jessica now serves the Las Vegas community, as a Deputy Public Defender for the Clark County Public Defenders Office of Las Vegas. She works with community partners such as the Urban League, volunteers, and plans events focused on voting and climate change.
Josh Jarrett is a 2011 YP4 Alum from Florida, who is now calling NYC home. While a YP4 Fellow, Josh’s Blueprint revitalized the Ally Program at his Alma Matter, the University of Central Florida. The Ally Project focused on providing a safe space and resources for queer and questioning students, as well as, equipping staff and faculty to provide resources and to designate themselves as a safe space for these students. Josh also established the LGBTQ caucus on his campus College Democrats chapter, as well as, serving as the statewide caucus chair.
Josh currently works at the Callen-Lorde Community Health Center, which focuses on LGBTQ and HIV care and provides trans-inclusive medical care to other clinics, where he offers guidance and expertise as a comprehensive sex and sexuality educator.
As an organizer and campaigner during his time in Florida, Josh also i involved with Impact Human, a non-profit that uses photography and storytelling to talk about the human impact of climate change. Josh has also been an organizer and campaigner during his time in Florida. He has worked on many local, statewide, and national campaigns, electing progressive and openly queer candidates into office.
LiLi (they/them/she/her) is a white, queer, & transfeminine graduate student from Topeka, Kansas. As the grandchild of Irene Franz and Sandra Stuebe, LiLi brings their resilience, sense of care, and hearty casserole recipes into their current work– supporting the Coalition of Anti-Racist Whites, No New Youth Jail Coalition, and other efforts aimed at growing local multiracial movements for police and prison abolition.
In 2011, LiLi started organizing with a coalition of faith organizations resisting massive education budget cuts in Kansas City. The struggle showed LiLi what building broad, people-based power could achieve and inspired them to return home, as a member of the Topeka Public Schools Equity Council. They worked alongside folks of Topeka to broaden the district’s equity programs, enhance curriculum’s cultural relevancy, and expand P-12 ELL programs.
After moving to Seattle in 2014, LiLi joined Service Employees International Union (SEIU) and mobilized workers to win fairer scheduling, equitable raises, and better benefits in the “Fight for $15”. In 2017, LiLi left SEIU to start graduate studies in public policy. Currently, their studies focus on the needs and experiences of queer and trans youth sex workers in western Washington.
LiLi spends their free time singing queer karaoke, exploring what it means to be a Taurus in the (apocalyptic) age of Aquarius and dreaming/scheming up new worlds that exist beyond supremacy.
Luz Cabrera is currently the administrative director at a behavioral clinic and program assistant at a Unitarian Universalist congregation in the Central Florida area. Originally from Guanajuato, Mexico, she moved to Orlando, Florida, at the age of seven.
She completed her bachelor’s degree in Religious Studies and Psychology, with a minor in Sex, Women, and Gender Studies from Rollins College and has completed graduate coursework in behavior analysis and clinical science with interests in public health, policy development, and organizational management. Continually learning, Luz is always looking for ways to use her skills to help others.
When not at work, Luz volunteers at the local community center as a volunteer helping elementary school children with homework. During election years, Luz volunteers as Poll Clerk for the Supervisor of Elections Office in Orange County. She enjoys reading and tapping into her creative side by drawing and painting still life.
Isaac Young is dedicated to the fight for social justice with a long track record of work! He continues to partner with numerous networks and organizations to further his fight. Isaac’s motivation is a combination of history—his personal life and his cultural history. Isaac doesn’t want to limit himself in the fight for justice and is willing to educate himself and others on any injustices. Direct service to the community is the best fit for his approach, in the form of a community center that doubles as a homeless shelter for the youth. In this facility, financial literacy will be taught to better help mobilize those in underserved communities.
Alexandria Washington is an award-winning health advocate hailing from Tallahassee, FL. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Health Science and a master’s degree in Public Health from Florida A&M University. Her credentials also include being a certified health education specialist, a community health worker, and a Six Sigma Green Belt.
As an engaging facilitator, Alexandria has delivered speeches on politics in health, becoming an advocate, creating generational health and specific health topics such as HIV, Breast Cancer, Sickle Cell Disease, and Mental Health Awareness.
When not presenting, Alexandria is dedicated to community service and has served as Miss Black Florida US Ambassador, an HBCU Allstar with the White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities, and a Young People For Fellow. Alexandria’s dedication to community service and advocacy has resulted in her being featured in several publications –Tallahassee Democrat, Journey Magazine, Black Matter US, Capital Outlook, Orlando Advocate, and one of Tallahassee’s 25 Women You Need to Know.
Tay Richardson is a singer/interdisciplinary artist, activist, and educator, receiving an academic background in music from the Conservatory of Music at Purchase College, as well as, Arts Management and Entrepreneurship in the Arts.
Born in Lugoff, South Carolina, and raised in Westchester County, New York, Tay has been working within Higher Education and Student Affairs full time for the past four years. Tay Richardson currently holds the Assistant Director position of the Black Resource Center at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD)—coming to UCSD from Columbia University where they worked in Residential Life within Undergraduate Student Life. During their time at Columbia, Tay worked closely with the Office of Multicultural Affairs, facilitating programs, workshops, and community spaces.
Outside of Student Affairs, Tay is a part of the LGBTQ Scholars of Color Network and works to increase the visibility and uplift the narratives of Gender Non-Conforming individuals, with an even stronger focus on Gender Non-Confirming/LGBTQ+ People of Color!
Charles Bush is a young, determined Oglala Lakota, from the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota, in a rural area known as Porcupine, SD. He is a first-generation college student studying Natural Science with an emphasis on Conservation Biology. He has always had a knack for science, and, with education, he knows it’ll open doors for new opportunities! By being more aware of what goes on within his own community, he plans to initiate his own Blueprint for Social Justice and tie it into aspects of science within the Lakota teachings.
Charles also wants to be able to make an impact within his place he calls home, Porcupine, by breaking down stigmas associated with being indigenous to Turtle Island and show the world the true meaning of compassion, humility, respect, and wisdom.
Deep Tripurana is a queer South Asian immigrant involved in healthcare and education-based social justice work. After immigrating to the US and growing up in northern Illinois suburbs, Deep went to Lawrence University to receive a Bachelor of Arts in Biomedical Ethics. Since college, they got involved in public policy reform and education platform creation for most of their activist work—conducting workshops with local Midwest colleges on various social justice issues affecting marginalized folks in healthcare and education contexts, such as social determinants of health on life span outcomes, the school to prison pipeline crisis, and mental health fallout in the public education system.
Deep takes a multi-faceted approach to problem-solving, applying multiple perspectives, techniques, and philosophies to get the best answer possible. Their goal in life is to create holistic systems of care-based approaches to support any young person from traumatic backgrounds to not only gain resilience but also thrive on their own terms!
Sadé Swift is a queer black Dominican community organizer, artist, and freedom fighter. They are currently creating magic at Green Worker Cooperatives, which supports small businesses develop as cooperatives across NYC. Sade’s latest work includes co-founding Cards by Dé—a handmade greeting card cooperative and Rebellious Root—a multi-racial feminist consulting cooperative, both based in NYC.
They support their community by sitting on the NYCNOWC Advocacy Council, Board, and Training Collective to support the cooperative movement, developing healing workshops as a Young People For Fellow, creating crafting spaces in the Bronx with BxArts Factory, and so much more!