DALLAS, TEXAS — Trailblazers like Eddie Bernice Johnson who saw the gap in representation and left one career as a nurse to start another to effect positive change in politics and break through the glass ceiling as a pioneering stateswoman authoring the “CHIPS and Science Act” in the U.S. House of Representatives are examples of a proud legacy of Black leadership in this country.
Johnson is the distinguished guest of Zan Wesley Holmes Jr. Community Outreach Center’s (ZWHJCOC) 10th presentation of In Conversation. The “Conversation” hosts a distinguished guest each year who helps to shine a light on the life and events of our city, state, nation and world. Award-winning journalist, Cheryl Smith will moderate the conversation with Johnson, which promises to be insightful and inspiring after three decades of representing Texas’s 30th congressional district.
Attend for free in-person or virtually this Friday, February 17th from 7 to 9pm at St. Luke “Community” United Methodist Church, 5710 E R L Thornton Fwy, Dallas, TX 75223. RSVP today at bit.ly/inconversation2023 or visit zwhjcoc.org.
As a nonprofit, In Conversation is the organization’s annual capstone fundraising event. Sponsorships and donations raised during In Conversation support ZWHJCOC on its mission of creating self-sustaining pathways out of poverty for young people and families in Dallas, Texas, through education and job placement.
Local entrepreneur and philanthropist, Roland Parrish of Parrish Charitable Foundation and Parrish Restaurants Ltd is the title sponsor of In Conversation for the sixth straight year. The Dallas Business Journal awarded Roland its Lifetime Achievement Award in 2017. His company is the 4th Largest Minority Owned Firm in North Texas. Parrish Restaurants Ltd, consistently makes the Black Enterprise Magazine’s BE 100 as one of the Top 100 Black owned businesses in the United States.
Funds raised support ZWHJCOC’s free community programming, events and education across three pathways including entrepreneurship, workforce pathways and asset building.
During the Covid-19 pandemic, ZWHJCOC provided technical assistance to almost 50 small businesses for the Payroll Protection Program and Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program, gathering more than $900,000 for its clients while preserving 89 jobs.
ZWHJCOC’s Light Electrical (Low Voltage) Program is a free 4-week job training and certification program that provides the opportunity for individuals to learn an in-demand skill that increases their opportunity to earn a livable wage.
ZWHJCOC offers a variety of financial literacy classes and coaching programs that teach about the economy, financial assets and planning to help individuals build wealth.
Under the leadership of Executive Director, Frances Smith-Dean, financial educator and economist, the organization helped create more than 5,000 jobs for low-income individuals since March 2019.