With the sometimes embarrassing representation of Texans — ya’ll must think we are idiots. But we’re not. Just witness the recent September gathering of the TWU Public Voices Fellowship Program, aka The Op-Ed Project, that has come to life in Dallas. How refreshing to see so many talented, strong women in one place with such a wide variety of interests and passions. From opposing gun, family and child violence to advocating for school gardens and empowering Muslim women, we have many voices in Texas beyond the stereotype.
It is an honor and privilege to spend time with our Op-Ed mentors. Katie, Rose, Chloe and Chelsea are inspiring, push us to think beyond our self-imposed boundaries, and are now part of our lives (and our organizations’ causes) forever. They have dropped a pebble in our pond, and the ripple effects are amazing. Our Dallas team has published more than 25 Op-Eds in the first quarter, and we Texas women are competitive, so there is much more to come!
So, there’s more to us here in Texas besides fancy cars and steakhouses and shopping. This is, after all, the land of Ann Richards. I stand with my Op-Ed sisters to fight the good fight, to get our voices heard, and to speak out about what is important. And every voice matters. Robert F. Kennedy said, “Each time a (wo)man stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, (s)he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope, and crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring, those ripples build a current that can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance.”
Ellen Magnis is the Chief of External Affairs responsible for community outreach and education for the Dallas Children’s Advocacy Center. She also oversees the agency’s marketing/public relations efforts and legislative relationships. She leads the organization’s annual internationally-recognized Crimes Against Children Conference that draws 3,000+ professionals for a weeklong training, including acquisition and retention of key partners and sponsors. Partners in this effort include the FBI, National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, and the US Marshals Service. Ellen has an undergraduate degree in Interdisciplinary Studies (Psychology, Sociology and Research) and an MBA with a concentration in Organizations and Strategy from the University of Texas at Dallas.