Stories from My City is a feature by Dr. Mark A. Brown, Executive Vice-President of Movement Day Greater Dallas designed to highlight leaders of influence in the Greater Dallas area.
Today, Mark interviews Dr. Froswa’ Booker-Drew, National Community Engagement Director for World Vision, U.S. Programs.
Current position held: 2 years
Favorite food: Pineapple Fried Rice—Thai food rocks!
Favorite verse: “It’s hard to name one, but Psalm 37 has been special since I was a young girl.”
Favorite vacation spot: Maui and Nassau
What’s your history with MDGD? When and why did you get involved?
I got involved because of Sue Sullins. We were hosting a screening of the documentary, Friendly Captivity at the South Dallas Cultural Center. Mac was in the audience and Sue said I had to meet him. He told me his plan for bringing Movement Day to Dallas and initially, I was not moved. I had seen so many initiatives come to Dallas with hopes of bringing reconciliation and assistance to South Dallas, and I didn’t know how this was going to be any different. Yet, after our two hour conversation, his heart convinced me. I wanted to be a part and committed to doing whatever necessary to make it happen here. I remember the beginning conversations and meetings to make this vision a reality.
What was your initial impressions of MDGD early on and now?
I knew it was successful in New York, but I wasn’t really sure how it would work in Dallas considering our context and dynamics are so different. I was impressed that Mac was intentional in making sure that it was inclusive, diverse and that residents were involved in the decision making and planning. I am so proud of how the event has expanded. In two years, we have grown in visibility, attendance, and even the desire to move the needle to demonstrate tangible outcomes is so much greater in such a short amount of time. I am biased because of my involvement and to see so many of the tracks continuing beyond the event is absolutely incredible!
How and why is your organization important to MDGD?
World Vision has been such a part of the Movement Day in New York, and we are elated to support the Dallas event. Rafael Munoz, Engagement Officer, is the leader of the Immigrant Care Track. Bemnet Meshesha, Administrative Coordinator, supports the event and especially the Youth Track with me. Our warehouse team was responsible for the kit build—Gilbert Young, Ingra Green, Randall Bruggink, Tino Rodriguez and even our National Disaster Response Director, Phyllis Freeman was involved! For World Vision, this is important. We want to support this Christian event that is committed to community transformation as well as engaging with individuals and organizations that we can partner with and serve in our local area. Our Vice President of US Programs, Romanita Hairston, was in town for the Dallas event and was a keynote at the New York event so as you can tell, World Vision is extremely supportive and engaged with Movement Day!
How many churches are involved with your organization?
We partner with a number of organizations, churches, ministries, and schools throughout the DFW area as well as in our sites across the country. In the DFW area, there are more than 200 organizations and schools that are a part of our work.
What are the goals of your organization? 5 year goals?
World Vision is a Christian humanitarian organization dedicated to working with children, families, and their communities worldwide to reach their full potential by tackling the causes of poverty and injustice. There are goals that we have for the various divisions of our work and for each of our teams. For my team of engagement officers, we have a national five year strategy that is designed to build the capacity of youth-serving, partner organizations by building their social and human capital through our convenings, trainings, and our portfolio of resources that ultimately provide support to child well-being and contribute to community transformation.
Where do you see your organization in DFW & Nationally going? What’s the future look like?
I am elated by the work! We are growing our partners both locally and nationally. I have been blessed to conduct our partnership training for organizations around the country and the response has been overwhelmingly positive! Many of our organizations are small to mid-sized nonprofits and ministries who do not have many resources and to equip them with an understanding of concepts such as collective impact, social capital, social capacity and network theory in a way that they can understand and apply it to their work has been so rewarding! There is so much that we offer in communities. In addition to the training, we provide:
- The Youth Empowerment Institutes , a two day intensive, which are provided around the country to youth-serving organizations,
- The Gifts In Kind product including our Teacher Resource Center for Title One Schools offering school supplies and our Building Materials Program
- Missions work in Appalachia, Dallas, and Chicago
- Disaster Preparedness and Response work in communities distributing building supplies, clothing, and other resources such as food and hygiene kits.
What are some of your needs?
World Vision needs Child Champions. These are individuals that commit to providing a monthly gift to support our work and organizations that serve youth through small grants. We also need volunteers at our local warehouse to support with sorting product for teachers and nonprofit organizations.