UNT conference to explore public administrators’ roles in building equitable communities

Thursday, March 18, 2021 - 15:28

What: University of North Texas College of Health and Public Service 2021 Master of Public Administration Annual Alumni-Student Conference

When: 8:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. April 16 (Friday)

Where: Online; Registration information can be found at https://hps.unt.edu/2021-mpa-alumni.

Media: Journalists interested in attending virtually and/or discussing the event should contact Trista Moxley at Trista.Moxley@unt.edu or 850-543-8132. 

More Info: Individual tickets are $25. UNT student tickets are free with student ID. Businesses, organizations or individuals can sponsor the event at a variety of levels listed at https://hps.unt.edu/2021-mpa-alumni. All event proceeds benefit the MPA Excellence Fund and sponsorships may be considered tax-deductible. For more information on the event, contact Coleen Franckowiak at coleen.franckowiak@unt.edu.


The virtual event’s theme, Critical Conversations: Exploring Public Administrators’ Roles in Building Equitable Communities, will discuss how local government and nonprofits can work together to build communities with greater economic, social and policy equity.

The event will highlight the benefits of a diverse workforce and equitable and inclusive communities, as well as discuss opportunities for expanding equity in the workplace and opportunities for minority and women owned business.

It is hosted by the UNT Department of Public Administration, which boasts one of the best MPA programs nationwide

“The students and faculty of the UNT MPA program are committed to building just communities through dialogue, action and professional administration and we are excited to present this conference toward that goal,” said Brian Collins, chair of the department. “We invite the public to join us and this year’s stellar panel of speakers as we show you the major impact our community leaders have on ensuring equity in our communities and beyond.”

This year’s conference features keynote speakers Pastor Bryan L. Carter of the Concord Church, and Chief Neil Noakes of the Fort Worth Police Department. Other featured speakers include leaders from the cities of Dallas, Fort Worth and Grand Prairie, Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, North Central Texas Regional Certification Agency, North Central Texas Regional Certification Agency, North Texas Tollway Authority, Strategic Government Resources, the DFW Minority Supplier Development Council, the UNT Division of Institutional Equity and Diversity, and the University of Texas at Dallas.


  • 8:30-9 a.m. – Welcome
  • 9-10 a.m. – Concurrent sessions
    • Promoting Quality of Life through Equitable and Inclusive Communities
      • Steve Dye and Gerald Hodges, City of Grand Prairie
    • How to Build and Benefit from a Diverse Workforce
      • Ron Holifield, Strategic Government Resources
      • Christina Brooks, City of Fort Worth
      • Shani Moore, University of North Texas
      • Alicia Dorsey, Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport
  • 10-11 a.m. – Breakout sessions
    • Cognitive Biases and Equity in the Workplace: Recognizing and Reducing the Effects of Irrational Thinking
      • Dr. Doug Kiel, University of Texas at Dallas
    • Expanding Opportunities in Contracting for Minority and Women Owned Businesses
      • Moses Aito, North Texas Tollway Authority
      • Zarin Gracey, City of Dallas
      • YaLonda Lockett, North Central Texas Regional Certification Agency
      • Margo J. Posey, DFW Minority Supplier Development Council
  • 11 a.m. - noon – Keynote speakers and MPA program announcements
    • Pastor Bryan L. Carter, Concord Church
    • Chief Neil Noakes, Fort Worth Police Department
    • MPA announcements – Brian Collins, UNT Department of Public Administration
  • Noon-1:30 p.m. – Awards and virtual networking

UNT News Service Phone Number: (940) 565-2108

Media Contacts:

Trista Moxley