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 Thursday, February 16 

Homelessness in Austin

6-7pm, TNH 2.137


Alan Graham

Founder and CEO, Mobile Fish and Loaves

For Alan Graham, it is all about his relationships—with God, his family, staff members and certainly the homeless men and women he’s been engaging on the streets of Austin for more than two decades.

Alan is the founder and CEO of Mobile Loaves & Fishes (MLF), a social outreach ministry that provides food and clothing, cultivates community and promotes dignity to homeless men and women in need. Previously a real estate investor and developer, Alan founded Trilogy Development and the Lynxs Group, which developed Austin’s airport cargo facility and similar facilities at airports around the country.

In 1998, the seed for the idea of Mobile Loaves & Fishes had been placed on Alan’s heart. He and four friends boldly answered God’s call to “love your neighbor” by delivering meals to homeless men and women from the back of a green minivan. Alan readily admits that the group’s original approach for serving the homeless had some flaws, but with the help of a formerly homeless man, Houston Flake, they perfected the model that Mobile Loaves & Fishes successfully uses today. Since its founding, MLF volunteers have served more than 5 million meals with a side of hope to homeless men and women living on the streets of Austin, and the organization has spawned similar food truck ministries in other cities across the U.S.

Alan also is the lead visionary behind MLF’s Community First! Village—a 51-acre master planned development in northeast Austin that provides affordable, permanent housing and a supportive community for men and women coming out of chronic homelessness.

Alan and his wife, Tricia, were married in September 1984 and have four children of their own, as well as a niece they’ve been blessed to raise and include in their family. Alan is a published author of the book Welcome Homeless: One Man’s Journey of Discovering the Meaning of Home. He also is the host of the Gospel Con Carne podcast, which explores the woundedness of society through untold stories of individuals who have encountered homelessness.

Quiana Fisher

Homelessness Response System Strategy Director, ECHO

Quiana attended the School of Social Work at the historic Texas Southern University where she began to develop a racial equity framework and a commitment to improving systems on behalf of people that looked like her. She received her MSW at University of Houston in 2008 with a desire to work at the intersection of systems improvement and culturally competent service delivery. Quiana began working in housing services in 2010 and soon after found her home in the Austin Homeless Response System.

She has worked as a PSH case management and accredits her insight to the many program participants that trusted her with their authenticity and feedback. Quiana grounds her racial equity framework in the community organizing principles of The People’s Institute for Survival and Beyond and continues to work to ensure that the homeless response system is accountable to the people that it is called to serves.  Quiana joined the Ending Community Homelessness Coalition (ECHO) team in June 2021 as the Homelessness Response System (HRS) Strategy Director and enjoys the work of collaborating with traditional and non-traditional service providers to end the injustice of homelessness in our community.

 Friday, February 17 

critical water issues in the american south

10:30-11:30am, Zoom + Viewing Room in TNH 3.125


Enrique Valdivia

Texas RioGrande Legal Aid

Chairman, Edwards Aquifer Authority


A practicing attorney, Enrique Valdivia has a long track record of environmental activism surrounding water issues. First elected to the EAA board in 2006, he was a founding member of San Antonio non-profits Aquifer Guardians in Urban Areas and the Greater Edwards Aquifer Alliance. He was also involved in a grassroots effort to block a proposed PGA Village development and has led other challenges to development over the aquifer.

A Midwest native, Valdivia grew up playing soccer in Madison, Wisconsin. He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in philosophy from Carleton College in 1980. He went on to earn a juris doctorate degree from the University of Wisconsin. Shortly after graduating, Valdivia moved to Texas to work in immigration law for a non-profit based in Harlingen. He began working for Texas Rio Grande Legal Aid in 1985.

“My practice over the years took on more and more environmental cases,” Valdivia said. “It was something that I started seeing more of a need for, so I pursued that and built it up to where it’s mainly what I do now at Legal Aid.”

He has lived in San Antonio since the mid-1990s. He serves on the boards of the Sierra Club Alamo Group and Texas Fund for Economic & Environmental Education. Re-elected to the EAA board in 2010 and 2014.

Weston Twardowski
Program Manager, Diluvial Houston Initiative
Center for Environmental Studies and Humanities Research Center, Rice University

Weston Twardowski is a scholar and artist whose research investigates how we survive in precarious places. Dr. Twardowski holds is currently writing a monograph that focuses on the role of performance in community recovery and urban adaptation in post-Katrina New Orleans. Dr. Twardowski’s research has been published by TDR: The Drama Review, Ecumenica, and the Annals of Political Science. Passionate about transdisciplinary approaches in both art and research, Dr. Twardowski is an expert in community engagement and collaborative research design. Through the Diluvial Houston Arts Incubator, an environmental arts initiative he developed at Rice University, he has helped to create conversations across disciplinary and geographic boundaries in Houston and New Orleans. At Northwestern University, he worked on a National Science Foundation Civic Grant building partnerships with Objibwe Tribes throughout the Midwest. At Rice, he is deeply invested in fostering partnerships with non-profit organizations and community groups to develop community-oriented research and educational programs that directly serve the Greater Houston community.


Jim Sallans

Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, Litigation Division


Currently with the Litigation Division of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, Jim Sallans has negotiated meaningful solutions that involve a variety of environmental media to address difficult issues in communities throughout Texas for over 18 years.  The primary focus of his litigation includes water rights, water quality, and the regulation of public water systems.  Before landing at the TCEQ, Jim Sallans provided legal representation to technology and communication companies.  His previous public service includes work on a wide-range of legal and policy issues for Governors Bill Clements, Ann Richards and George Bush.  He was also appointed to serve on the Texas Interstate Compact Council by Governor Perry.  Away from work, Jim Sallans manages two small cow-calf operations and enjoys spending time appreciating natural habitats and Texas wildlife.

Y’all Means All: The State of LGBTQ+ Protections in Texas

2-3pm, Zoom + Viewing Room in TNH 3.140


Gin Pham (they/them)

Communications and Outreach Manager, Transgender Education Network of Texas (TENT)

Gin Nguyên Pham (they/them) is a trans nonbinary polysexual, Louisianan-born Texas-raised Vietnamese and American activist. They have nearly 6 years of experience in queer and trans visibility and advocating for Positional QTBIPOC empowerment.  They have provided and helpt build various community spaces for queer and trans individuals in Austin, Texas through Gender and Sexuality Center at The University of Texas at Austin, AIDS Services of Austin, and The Q. Now as the Communications and Outreach Manager at the Transgender Education Network of Texas, they are leveraging political action to create positive change for the trans and gender-diverse individuals throughout Texas.​​


​​Stephen Molldrem (he/him)

Assistant Professor, Bioethics and Health Humanities, University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston

Dr. Stephen Molldrem (he/him) is an Assistant Professor at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston in the Department of Bioethics and Health Humanities. He is an ethnographer and qualitative researcher situated at the intersection of sexuality studies, public health ethics, policy studies, and Science and Technology Studies. He conducted over two years of fieldwork in metropolitan Atlanta’s HIV/AIDS and LGBTQ health safety nets and has published several articles about the politics of recent transformations in US domestic HIV surveillance and prevention programs.


Chloe Kempf (she/her)

Attorney and Gallogly Family Foundation Legal Fellow, ACLU Texas

Chloe Kempf is an attorney and Gallogly Family Foundation Legal Fellow at the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Texas. Her work seeks to defend and expand the rights of LGBTQ+ people in Texas. Prior to joining the ACLU of Texas, she clerked for the Honorable Marina Garcia Marmolejo in the Southern District of Texas. She is a graduate of the University of Texas School of Law.


Lisa Campo-Engelstein (she/her)

Professor and Chair, Department of Bioethics & Health Humanities, University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston


Lisa Campo-Engelstein is the Director and Chair of Bioethics & Health Humanities and the Harris L. Kempner Chair in the Humanities in Medicine Professor at the University of Texas Medical Branch. She specializes in reproductive, feminist, and queer bioethics. The BBC recognized her research as engendering a better future for women, naming her as one of the 100 “inspiring and influential” Women of 2019. 

Carceral Ties That Bind: Abolition Feminism & Domestic Violence

3-4pm, Zoom + Viewing Room in TNH 2.138


Leigh Goodmark

Professor of Law and Co-Director, Clinical Law Program at Maryland Carey Law

Leigh Goodmark (pronouns: she/her/hers) is the Marjorie Cook Professor of Law and director of the Clinical Law Program at the University of Maryland Carey School of Law, where she directs the Gender Violence Clinic. She is he author of Imperfect Victims: Criminalized Survivors and the Promise of Abolition Feminism; Decriminalizing Domestic Violence: A Balanced Policy Approach to Intimate Partner Violence and A Troubled Marriage: Domestic Violence and the Legal System and the co-editor of Comparative Perspectives on Gender Violence: Lessons from Efforts Worldwide.


Charisa Kiyô Smith

Associate Professor, CUNY School of Law

Charisa Kiyô Smith is an Associate Professor at CUNY School of Law. She directs the interdisciplinary, intersectional Family Law Practice Clinic and teaches doctrinal courses on torts, youth law, and contemplative lawyering. Under Charisa’s leadership, the Family Law Practice Clinic facilitates 3L externships with legal service organizations and public interest law offices. Students engage in live legal work, then have robust weekly seminars and clinical case rounds on campus. Charisa represents CUNY Law’s other externship programs in Health Law and Equality & Justice in regional and national fora. A graduate of Yale Law School and Harvard and Radcliffe Colleges with an LL.M. from Wisconsin Law, Charisa focuses her scholarship on themes including personal capacity for decision-making and care-giving, moral and legal responsibility, and harm and remedy.  She emphasizes three broad areas—the over-criminalization of youth behavior, the overreach of the family policing system, and non-carceral approaches to gender-based harms.  Charisa’s scholarship has been cited by courts, government agencies, and advocates.  She has represented children and families in criminal and civil matters, with expertise in Alternative Dispute Resolution and special education advocacy. Charisa has also worked for women's rights organizations in Latin America and with sexually exploited youth in the U.S. and abroad.


Donna Coker

Professor, University of Miami School of Law

Professor Coker’s research examines the use of restorative justice responses to intimate partner violence (IPV) and sexual harm; the connection between economic vulnerability and IPV; and the intersections of gender and race subordination in criminal law doctrine and policy.  She is a leading critic of the carceral-focused response that has historically characterized U.S. IPV policy. She is currently serving as the 2022-2023 International Fellow for The Restorative Research, Innovation, and Education Lab, Schulich School of Law, Dalhousie University.


Kayla Bennett

Social Services Manager

Kayla holds a BA in Sociology from Wesleyan University and an MSW from the University of Chicago. Kayla was trained in the neuroscience and treatment of post-traumatic stress at NYC's Institute for Contemporary Psychotherapy. She has previously worked as a Horticultural Therapist on Rikers Island, where she and her students designed, built, and maintained gardens while studying curriculum in gardening, botany, food justice, and landscape design. Prior to this, Kayla worked as a Criminal Defense Social Worker at the Bronx Defenders. In 2019 she started her own mitigation practice to assist federal defense attorneys advocate for better sentencing outcomes for their clients. Kayla is currently the head of the social work practice at the Travis County Public Defender's Office.


Arielle Lewis-Zavala

Administrative Investigator

Arielle is the investigations supervisor at the Travis County Public Defender’s Office. She was born and raised in Austin and received a B.A. in Psychology and Gender Studies from Oberlin College. Prior to joining the public defender’s office, she worked as a private defense investigator assisting court-appointed attorneys though the Capital Area Private Defender Service. Prior to that, Arielle worked as a manager and crisis advocate at the National Domestic Violence Hotline. She has volunteered in multiple local community organizing campaigns for immigrant rights and is a co-founding member and board member of the Austin Sanctuary Network.

breaking barriers: Disability rights & the legal profession

3-4pm, TNH 2.139


Janice Ta

Founding Member and Former president of National Association of Law Students with Disabilities

Partner, Perkins Coie (Intellectual Property) 

Janice L. Ta is an intellectual property lawyer who helps companies enforce, license, and litigate rights related to patents, trade secrets, trademarks, and copyrights. She works with clients globally from startups to universities to Fortune 500 companies. Her cases have involved a broad range of technologies, including computer hardware and software, semiconductors, light-emitting diodes (LEDS), audio and video streaming, search algorithms, and cool roofing granules.

Janice’s litigation practice includes actions in U.S. district courts, the International Trade Commission (ITC), state courts, and arbitration tribunals. Janice served as a judicial clerk to the Honorable Timothy B. Dyk of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. As a first generation college student and lawyer, Janice graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Stanford University with degrees in Symbolic Systems (B.S.) and Art History (B.A.). She earned her law degree from Yale Law School. Prior to law school, Janice was a user interface designer and product manager at a social networking company, shepherding the development of a variety of products and services from conception to launch. Her work as an attorney is informed by her knowledge of the product development cycle and her understanding of the business needs of growing technology companies. 

Janice was awarded the Top Women in IP “Ginger Rogers Award” by Texas Lawyer in 2022. Janice has also been recognized by Super Lawyers (2022) and as a Texas "Rising Star" in IP litigation by Super Lawyers (2018 and 2019). Janice contributes time to her community in a variety of ways, most recently serving as an executive committee member of the Yale Law School Association, as a board member of Ballet Austin, and as chair of Perkins Coie’s Lawyers With Disabilities Resource Group.

Angelica Sander

Angelica Sander is a Staff Attorney at Disability Rights Texas and she focuses on disability law in the postsecondary education settings. She graduated with her Juris Doctor (J.D.) from the Southern Methodist University Dedman School of Law. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Political Science from the University of Texas at Arlington. Angie is bilingual in Spanish and English. Angelica loves her clients and representing people with disabilities.

The state of labor: organizing workers in austin & statewide

4-5pm, TNH 2.138


Moderator: Hannah Alexander ‘16 

Staff Attorney, Worker’s Defense Project

Hannah Alexander is a staff attorney at the Workers Defense Project in Austin where she represents workers in employment-related cases, supports WDP's organizing efforts, and does policy work. At Texas Law, Hannah was editor-in-chief of the Texas Journal on Civil Liberties & Civil Rights; president of the Public Interest Law Association; and lead planner for the 2015 Change it Up!.


Madelynn Britt

Barista, Try Hard Coffee

Madelynn Britt currently resides in Austin Texas. She has worked in the food service industry for the past 10 years working in cafes and restaurants across central California and Austin. More recently, she and her coworkers at an east Austin cafe organized to secure a staff sick leave fund and higher wages. Her hope is that the labor movement continues to challenge exploitative working conditions within the food service industry. 


José Cáceres

Legal Manager and Organizer, Worker’s Defense Project 

José Caceres is the legal manager and an organizer for the Worker’s Defense Project based here in Austin. His focus generally is on achieving social justice and he has a specific focus on immigrant rights. He has varied experience in various legal and advocacy settings. 


Amanda Cavazos Weems

Labor Organizer, Democratic Socialists of America

Amanda Cavazos Weems is a labor organizer for the Democratic Socialists of America based here in Austin. She has worked for the City of Austin, during which she was an organizer for the Texas State Employees Union, and as an organizer for the Texas AFL-CIO and the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees. Amanda is a Chair at the Young Active Labor Leaders in Austin. In addition, Amanda is a successful artist specializing in printmaking.

Rick Levy

President, Texas AFL-CIO

Rick Levy is the President of the Texas AFL-CIO, a position he was elected to in 2017. Levy began working for the state federation in 1990, and as Legal Director represented the State Federation in a broad variety of matters. Levy has been a member of TSEU/CWA 6186 since 1986 and is also a member of Ironworkers Local 482.

 saturday, February 18 

Extending the Green Wave: Lessons from Reproductive Justice Movements in Latin America / Ampliando la Marea Verde: Las lecciones de los movimientos reproductivos de Latinoamérica

4-5pm, Zoom + Viewing Room in TNH 3.127


Martha Rosenberg


is an Argentine doctor, psychoanalyst, and activist. She is one of the founders of the National Campaign for the Right to a Legal, Safe, and Free Abortion, an alliance of organizations and activists that successfully fought for the legalization of abortion in Argentina. 


Melissa Ayala


is the Litigation and Documentation Coordinator at GIRE (Information Group on Reproductive Choice), where she promotes and defends the exercise of reproductive rights in Mexico. Ayala has a law degree from Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México and an LLM from Harvard Law. 

Catalina Martínez Coral


is the Senior Regional Director for Latin America & the Caribbean for the Center for Reproductive Rights. She has developed the Center’s work in Colombia, seeking transitional justice for reproductive rights violations committed during the Colombian armed conflict. Catalina received her Master's degrees in international affairs from Sciences Po Paris and in international law and international organizations from Paris University Panthéon-Sorbonne.

2023 KeynotE

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