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Las Colonias in the 21st Century: Progress Along the Texas–Mexico Border

July 30–31, 2015 Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas

Hosted by the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas and Texas State Affordable Housing Corporation (TSAHC)


Thursday, July 30

Opening Event: Celebración de las Colonias
Special music provided by the University of Texas–Pan American’s student band, Mariachi Atzlan.

Partnerships and Social Enterprise

  • Jordana Barton, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, San Antonio Branch
  • bcWORKSHOP, Chilton Capital Management and Community Development Corporation of Brownsville

Exhibits: Challenges and Innovative Solutions
Featured the innovative work of organizations and individuals that represent the spirit of colonia communities. Exhibits included:

  • Agua Viva Community Center
  • AYUDA Inc.
  • Brownsville Community Health Center, Mano a Mano promotora program
  • Community Development Corporation of Brownsville
  • Deep South Texas Financial Literacy Alliance
  • Digital Opportunity for the Rio Grande Valley (DO4RGV), with Rosen Publishing
  • Ein Gedi Ranch Community Garden
  • Health and Human Services Commission, Office of Border Affairs
  • LiftFund, with microenterprises from multiple colonias
  • Proyecto Azteca
  • Texas A&M University Colonias Program’s water filtration project
  • University of Texas–Pan American's financial literacy program

Friday, July 31

Check-in and Breakfast

Welcome and Opening Remarks

  • Alfreda B. Norman, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas

Leading Approaches for Improving Housing and Infrastructure

  • Moderator: Jordana Barton
  • Enriqueta “Keta” Caballero, Colonia Initiatives Program, Texas Secretary of State
  • Homero Cabello, Office of Colonia Initiatives/Housing Trust Fund, Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs
  • Jesse Miller, bcWORKSHOP
  • Ann Williams Cass, Proyecto Azteca

Innovations in Health and Wellness

  • Moderator: Oscar J. Muñoz, Colonias Program, Texas A&M University
  • Elvia Alcala, Mano a Mano, Brownsville Community Health Center
  • Francisco Fernandez, University of Texas Rio Grande Valley School of Medicine
  • Paula S. Gómez, Brownsville Community Health Center

Connecting Communities to Regional Economic Opportunities

  • Moderator: Roberto Coronado, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, El Paso Branch
  • Marie Mora, University of Texas–Pan American and University of Texas Rio Grande Valley
  • Emily Ryder Perlmeter, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas
  • Teófilo Tijerina, Onko Solutions
  • Elvira M. Valles, LiftFund

Lunch and Keynote Remarks

  • Introduction: Jaime Chahin, Texas State University
  • Senator Eddie Lucio Jr., Texas Senate, District 27

Building on Assets: Advancements in Education

  • Moderator: JoAnn Canales, Texas A&M University–Corpus Christi
  • David Arizmendi, South Texas College
  • Daniel P. King, Pharr–San Juan–Alamo Independent School District
  • Robert T. McLaughlin, Education Development Center

Imaginando el Futuro: The Millennial Generation and Youth

  • Moderator: Juanita Valdez-Cox, La Unión del Pueblo Entero (LUPE)
  • Ruben Cantu, CORE Media Strategies
  • Esther Herrera, LUPE and ARISE
  • Pedro Nepomuceno, colonia resident and ARISE
  • John-Michael Torres, LUPE

Closing Remarks: ¡Sigamos Adelante!

  • Roy C. Lopez, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas