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Southwest Border Colonias: Housing and Sustainable Development in the 21st Century

June 22–23, 2016 Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas

Southwest Border Colonias: Housing and Sustainable Development in the 21st Century convened practitioners, policymakers, researchers and colonia residents to examine housing and sustainable development issues in the southwest border region and to promote international collaboration and solutions for persistent challenges.

Southwest Border Colonias: Housing and Sustainable Development in the 21st Century convened practitioners, policymakers, researchers and colonia residents to examine housing and sustainable development issues in the southwest border region and to promote international collaboration and solutions for persistent challenges.

Presenters drew connections between local, regional and global development challenges and share successful approaches and evidence-based models around three themes:

  • Access to safe and affordable housing
  • Investment in people and communities for upward mobility
  • Resilience in response to environmental and economic changes

Keynote Speaker:

  • Gustavo Velasquez, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development

The conference also highlighted the Dallas Fed’s 2015 report, “Las Colonias in the 21st Century: Progress Along the Texas–Mexico Border,” which examines successes and challenges in infrastructure, housing, economic opportunity, education and health in Texas border colonias. Learn more about this report and recent related initiatives at TexasColonias.org

Designated a United Nations Habitat III U.S. Regional Conference, this event preceded and informed the international UN Habitat III Conference in Quito, Ecuador (October 2016).

Agenda

Wednesday, June 22

5:30 p.m.

Opening Event: Celebración de las Colonias

 

Welcome

  • Roberto A. Coronado, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, El Paso Branch
  • Diana Natalicio, University of Texas at El Paso
  • Judge Veronica Escobar, El Paso County
 

Next-Generation Approaches to Policy and Practice in Colonias and Informal Housing Subdivisions

  • Moderator: Jordana Barton, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, San Antonio Branch
    Presentation
  • Nick Mitchell-Bennett, Community Development Corporation of Brownsville (invited)
  • Pegy Brimhall and Peter French, Rising Barn
  • Laura Gómez-Rodríguez, White House Council on Strong Cities, Strong Communities Initiative (SC2), with Ruth Osuna, city of Brownsville
 

Exhibits
Learn about the innovative work of individuals and organizations that represent the spirit of colonia communities while enjoying refreshments and local music. Featured exhibits include:

  • AYUDA
  • buildingcommunity WORKSHOP
  • Community Development Corporation of Brownsville
  • Digital Opportunity for the Rio Grande Valley (DO4RGV)
  • Ein Gedi Ranch Community Garden and Agua Viva Community Center
  • LiftFund
  • Lower Valley Housing Corporation
  • Project Vida
  • Proyecto Azteca
  • Texas A&M Water Filtration Project

Thursday, June 23

7:30 a.m.

Check-In and Breakfast

8:00 a.m.

Welcome

  • Anna Alvarez Boyd, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System
    Presentation
  • Tammye H. Treviño, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development

8:20 a.m.

Habitat III Introduction and Overview of the Global and Domestic Process

  • Salin Geevarghese, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development

Securing Housing for All

8:45 a.m.

The Urban–Rural Connection: Housing, Infrastructure and the “New Colonias”

  • Moderator: Jordana Barton, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, San Antonio Branch
    Presentation
  • Homero Cabello Jr., Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs
  • John Henneberger, Texas Low Income Housing Information Service
  • Jesse Miller, buildingcommunity WORKSHOP
    Presentation
  • Peter M. Ward, University of Texas at Austin
    Presentation

Investing in People and Communities for Upward Mobility

10:15 a.m.

Digital Equity and Opportunity in the Border Region

  • Moderator: Roy C. Lopez, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas
  • Jordana Barton (Digital Opportunity for the Rio Grande Valley project)
    Presentation
  • Cecilia Corral, CareMessage
  • Joanne Hovis, CTC Technology and Energy
    Presentation
  • J. Reymundo Ocañas, BBVA Compass

Celebrating Colonia Organizations

11:15 a.m.

Exhibits, Networking and Break
Network with other attendees and learn about the innovative work of individuals and organizations that represent the spirit of colonia communities.

Lunch

11:45 a.m.

Keynote Remarks

  • Introduction: Alfreda B. Norman, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas
  • Gustavo F. Velasquez, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development

Investing in People and Communities for Upward Mobility (con't)

1:00 p.m.

Building on Assets: Advancements in Education 

  • Moderator: Raquel R. Marquez, University of Texas at San Antonio
    Presentation
  • Armando Aguirre, Education Service Center–Region 19
  • Daniel P. King, Pharr–San Juan–Alamo Independent School District
  • Carlos Olmedo, University of Texas at Austin
    Presentation
  • William Serrata, El Paso Community College

2:00 p.m.

Break

Responding to Change and Building Resilience

2:15 p.m.

Connecting Communities to Regional Economic Opportunities 

  • Moderator: Roberto A. Coronado, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, El Paso Branch
  • Ruby Alvarez, GECU
  • Julia T. Brown, Doña Ana County, New Mexico
  • Theresa A. Maldonado, University of Texas Rio Grande Valley
    Presentation
  • Elvira M. Valles, LiftFund
    Presentation

3:15 p.m.

Innovations in Health and Wellness

  • Moderator: Miryam Bujanda, Andrade-Van de Putte and Associates
  • Nicole Ferrini, city of El Paso
    Presentation
  • Olivia Figueroa, AYUDA
  • Oscar Muñoz, Texas A&M University
  • Rachel Quintanilla, Project Vida
    Presentation
  • Emma Wollschlager Schwartz, Medical Center of the Americas Foundation

4:15 p.m.

Closing Remarks: ¡Sigamos Adelante!

  • Salin Geevarghese
  • Roy C. Lopez

4:30 p.m.

Adjourn