John is one of Texas’ leading experts on low income housing issues and a 2014 MacArthur Fellow. He is recognized for his steadfast commitment to social justice, helping low income people advance model solutions to housing issues in their communities, and forging common-ground solutions from diverse housing interests. He is a past board member of the National Low Income Housing Coalition. John’s advocacy work won TxLIHIS the Texas Outstanding Public Service Award from his public interest colleagues. John has a BA in History from the University of Texas at Austin. He has served as an adjunct instructor in Disaster Recovery Housing in the School of Architecture at the University of Texas at Austin.
Karen works with grassroots leaders to help residents realize their own visions for their communities. For more than 25 years, she has helped communities use housing as a tool for improving living conditions and for teaching leaders to be active participants in the civic affairs of their communities. Her work has resulted in neighborhood-controlled organizations converting outside commercial redevelopment plans into housing, neighborhood-operated housing for the homeless, self-help housing in Texas colonias and increased housing resources such as a successful effort to establish a $55 million fund for housing in Austin and zoning overlay districts requirements for affordable housing as a community benefit. Karen holds degrees in Government and Spanish from the University of Texas at Austin and a Master’s in Urban Affairs from the University of Delaware.
With the Housers research team, Amelia conducts research and analysis on fair housing and disaster recovery in Texas. The maps, charts, and reports she produces are intended to highlight and reinforce the advocacy of legal aid attorneys, advocates and especially community members. She is completing her MS Community and Regional Planning from UT Austin, where she is focused on housing equity and environmental justice. Amelia‘s undergraduate degree was in Film and Video, and art and music are central to her life. Since moving to Texas from Oakland, California, she has been producing documentaries about social justice in Texas towns and cities with her husband and partner.
Ashley provides key support behind the scenes through bookkeeping, maintaining an accessible document archive and collecting records, bills and other statements. She was raised in Austin by immigrant parents in search of the opportunity for a successful and secure life, and during Ashley’s childhood, her family housed many families arriving in Texas without a job or a place to stay. From an early age, Ashley was taught to always help your neighbor. She’s happy to help an organization that follows those values by taking care of all the small details Texas Housers needs in order to flourish.
Charlie collects data from federal, state, and local governments and provides research and mapping pertaining to housing, neighborhood qualities and the socioeconomic conditions of municipalities across Texas. His work informs numerous stakeholders in housing-related policy including legislators, law firms, community organizations, local and state agencies, academics and advocates. Before working in fair housing, Charlie was in the biodiesel industry and worked as an audio engineer. He is also a working musician who has been playing drums and percussion for almost 20 years. Charlie graduated summa cum laude from Texas State University with a B.S. in Geography with emphases in GIS and Urban & Regional Planning.
Clinton is the community navigator for the golden triangle (Beaumont, Port Arthur and Orange). He has worked at the Annie E. Casey Foundation’ Atlanta Civic Site through the National Urban Fellowship program. During this time he helped pilot the (ad)Vantage program, and assisted with the piloting of the first Executive Director collaborative circle. These programs focused on creating racial equity for boys and men of color in the City of Atlanta, GA. He worked on was the first recognized and supported live/work house for Habitat For Humanity, this home the combined living space and work space for low-income families. He holds a master’s degree in community development from Prairie View A&M University and a Master of Public Administration from Baurch College in New York City.
Deputy communications director
Based in Houston, Zoe is responsible for design and storytelling around recovery from Hurricane Harvey. Previously, she’s worked on domestic and international projects focused on making complex processes accessible and actionable. She holds an M.A. from the New School for Public Engagement and a B.A. from Michigan State University. She speaks French and English and has lived in the States, Ireland, Romania,and Syria.
Chrishelle leads efforts to provide local and state policy review to local community organizing groups. Much of her work revolves around disaster recovery efforts stemming from 2008’s Hurricane Ike, working closely with policy advocates and grassroots organizers in low income communities. Chrishelle organized a Fair Housing Summit for the Houston/Galveston area, creating an authentic and ongoing dialogue between government agencies, nonprofits, community leaders, residents, civil rights attorneys, developers and more. Prior to coming aboard at TxLIHIS, she had a successful career in architecture, specializing in high rise multifamily design and development. She has a Bachelors of Architecture from Prairie View A&M University and serves on the board of directors for The Rhodes School, advises the board of Pink Defying Gravity and volunteers with Rock the Babies.
Northwest Texas director
A Fort Worth native, Adam organizes with low-income communities across Northwest Texas to ensure they have access to fair and decent housing, good schools and services, and the ears of policy makers. Partnering with other community activists and attorneys, he researches the past and present socioeconomic conditions of low-income Texans to pursue fairer community planning policy through community engagement and litigation. After earning a B.A. in History from the University of Texas, Adam served in AmeriCorps building affordable housing in Austin and helping with disaster relief efforts in Joplin, Missouri and Bastrop, Texas. He is a recent graduate of Rutgers Law School. Please reach out to him if you want to get involved or just chat.
Rio Grande Valley co-director
Josué advocates for low income housing and neighborhood needs in the colonias of the Rio Grande Valley alongside community organizers and residents from Cameron and Hidalgo Counties. He acts as a liaison between colonia residents, local organizing groups, developers, policy advocates and political leaders, helping form and shape policy that betters and promotes quality affordable housing and healthy communities. Josué has worked on a rapid re-housing pilot program for hurricane recovery, the establishment and development of the colonia resident group Land Use Colonia Housing Action (LUCHA) and several organizing campaigns on issues including public lighting and comprehensive colonia drainage. He spends part of his time at the Texas Capitol to ensure that legislation puts the community front and center and furthers fair housing practices. In his spare time Josué likes to paint and drink coffee.
Christina leads outreach, media and content production for TxLIHIS, including the Texas Housers blog and interacting with the press and community stakeholders. Christina tells the stories of communities and residents to ensure that policymakers and stakeholders understand the importance of fair, affordable housing and quality neighborhoods. Christina worked as a social services and breaking news reporter at the Dallas Morning News and as a program assistant at the Annie E. Casey Foundation. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Journalism from Northwestern University and a Master of Social Work from the University of Chicago.
Veon McReynolds, PhD – President
Tour de Hood, Houston
Tom Hatch, FAIA – Vice president
Hatch + Ulland Owen Architects, Austin
Elizabeth Mueller, PhD – Secretary
University of Texas School of Architecture, Austin
Rafael I. Torres – Treasurer
Azteca Economic Development and Preservation Corporation, Laredo
Covenant Community Capital, Houston
William Forbath, PhD
University of Texas School of Law, Austin
Shannon Van Zandt, PhD
Texas A&M University Hazard Reduction & Recovery Center, College Station