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Nicole Collier

 

Nicole Collier is a respected attorney, small business owner, grandmother and mother of three who has spent her life working to obtain the American Dream. As a single mother of two children before finishing high school, she was bolstered by both her faith and her family to continue her education. Nicole is a graduate of the University of Houston and Texas Wesleyan University School of Law, now the Texas A&M University School of Law. For the last 20 years, Nicole has been a strong advocate for individuals and families, and has now taken her skills to the Texas Capitol.

Nicole is the first woman to represent Tarrant County’s House District 95, and in November 2022, she was re-elected to her sixth term in office.

In the prior session, Nicole served as chair of the House Committee on Criminal Jurisprudence, which made her the first woman in Texas history to chair the committee since it was formed in 1879. Nicole has also served as chair of the Texas Legislative Black Caucus. In the 88th Texas Legislature, she was chosen to serve as Second Vice Chair to the House Democratic Caucus. Additionally, Nicole was re-appointed to serve on the House Committee on Public Health and newly appointed to the House Committee on Culture, Recreation & Tourism.

Nicole draws her legislative priorities from input from the community. She has filed legislation that focuses on affordable housing, renters’ rights, access to quality healthcare, and criminal justice reform. Her outstanding legislative achievements have garnered numerous awards, including, more recently, the Roy Wilkins Civil Rights Award from the NAACP, and the Regional Legislator of the Year Award from The National Black Caucus of State Legislators.

FW City Councilman Chris Nettles

 

Pastor Chris Nettles is a lifelong resident of Fort Worth and believes in devoting his time to his family, business, and community. He and his wife, Shakia Nettles, are the proud parents of four children: Jalen, Christopher Jr. (CJ), Caleb, and the princess, Christianna Nettles.

Chris is a proud graduate of North Crowley High School (class of 2006) where he was the President of his Junior Class and President of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA) program. Following his graduation, Chris studied Christian Ministries at Dallas Baptist University.

Since 2014, Chris Nettles has owned and operated his daycare center, Haven of Purpose Childcare Center, which provides care, education, nutritious meals, mentorship, and so much more to the children of working families in Fort Worth. Chris’s business is run alongside of his ministry, where he has served as the senior Pastor and played an active role in the community for the past eleven years. More recently, in 2019, Pastor Chris expanded his afterschool program to providing after-school care and hot meals for the students of Everman ISD, surrounding Churches and apartments complexes.

From 2013 – 2020, Chris worked as an Administrative Court Clerk and Assistant Court Manager to Justice of the peace for Tarrant County Precinct Eight. This profession has allowed him to be a role model and mentor to the young men and women that came through the court system.

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Zelia Baugh 

Executive Vice President For Behavioral Health at JPS Health Network

 

Zelia Baugh has extensive experience in the healthcare industry, particularly in behavioral and psychiatric services. Zelia served as the Executive Vice President for Behavioral Health at JPS Health Network, where they were in charge of strategic growth and direction for the behavioral health service line. Prior to that, they were the Executive Director of Psychiatric Services at Baptist Health System, where they oversaw the strategic growth and development of the psychiatric service line within their five hospital system. Zelia also held the role of Commissioner of Mental Health for the State of Alabama, where they implemented transformative change in long-term care for the mentally ill. Additionally, Baugh worked as an Administrative Director of Psychiatric Services at both The University of Alabama at Birmingham and Brookwood Medical Center, where they were responsible for overall strategic development and day-to-day operations of psychiatric services.

 

Zelia Baugh completed their Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science and Sociology at Birmingham-Southern College from 1985 to 1988. Zelia further pursued their education at The University of Alabama, where they obtained a Master of Social Work (M.S.W.) degree specializing in Geriatric Social Work from 1990 to 1992.

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Mary Ann Contreras, RN 

Injury and Violence Prevention Manager

JPS Health Network

 

Mary Ann Contreras, RN, is the Violence and Injury Prevention Manager at JPS Hospital, a busy Level One Trauma Center in Fort Worth, Texas. She has practiced nursing for over four decades. Mary Ann focuses on trauma, behavior, environment, and policy to develop, implement, and evaluate injury prevention initiatives. Using national, local, and trauma registry data, she coordinates and collaborates with community organizations to develop trauma education and injury prevention strategies. She is active in the state’s trauma system and national nursing and injury prevention organizations and sits on several community boards.

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Alex Irish

Artist/Musician 

A survivor of street gun violence is an artist-driven by tragedy and triumph. Following the tragic shooting that left her unable to walk for several months, Alex Irish transmuted her pain to create music that captured her darkest, most vulnerable moments.

Alex remains steadfast in her craft, channeling her pain and trauma through rock and Latin-infused soundsHer most recent project, Twisted Metal, offers the music she’s always wanted to make, influenced by her upbringing in an Afrolatinx household and her teenage years as a self-described alternative kid. Dallas observer called her “a dynamic and  multifaceted artist” 

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Carmen Charles

Domestic Violence High-Risk Team Coordinator/Dallas County Crime Victims Council Treasurer/Community Advocate and Speaker

Carmen Charles is a graduate of the University of Texas at Arlington. She received a Master of Science in Social Work degree and is a Licensed Master Social Worker in Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas. She has been working in various aspects of social services for 18 years. For the last 8 years, she has had the opportunity to work with domestic violence survivors in crisis

services in Tarrant County as well as in Dallas County.

Carmen is the Domestic Violence High-Risk Team Program Coordinator at The Family Place in Dallas, TX, where she provides crisis intervention, case management, and referrals to counseling services to clients in need of services, which include, but are not limited to, crisis counseling,

providing information and referrals, advocacy, and safety planning. As a therapist, she assists families with navigating life after experiencing trauma and helping parents understand trauma response. She develops intentional programming that fosters safe spaces for families to have

an open dialogue about traumatic events. She serves with various coalitions, including The Family Place - African American Domestic Violence Council, Sorority Sisters Standing Against Domestic Violence, and Dallas County Crime Victims Council, and she continues to provide community education regarding the truth about family violence and intimate partner violence.

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