The pages that precede this one highlight the stories of fierce women throughout our city. One of my heroes is Dr. Froswa’ Booker-Drew. Froswa’ is a prophetic voice of hope, inclusion, and innovation for Dallas. Through her position as the Vice President of Community Affairs and Strategic Alliances for the State Fair of Texas, she has a unique perspective on how we can come together as a city. I’m grateful Froswa’ has added her voice to this issue.
What kind of work do you do at the State Fair of Texas?
I started in 2016 at the State Fair of Texas and developed our Community Affairs Department, our philanthropic focus, and the programming we provide in partnership with our community partners. We are focused on serving organizations in the Fair Park/South Dallas area in the 75210, 75215 and 75228 Zip codes with some support to Southern Sector nonprofits. We provide several signature programs for the community as well. We provided grants to more than 60 organizations in 2019 of nearly $500,000 in the areas of capacity building for nonprofits, education, and economic development. The State Fair also works with community stakeholders on issues like transportation, the Census, and employment.
What is your guiding principle as you approach your work and your life?
My guiding principle is to treat people the way I want to be treated.
What is the greatest challenge facing Dallas?
It is hard to nail it down to one. Relationships are a significant part of the problem but can be the solution. I do not think we are intentional about making sure we are inclusive as we make decisions. There are a lot of decisions made in isolation and the very people who are affected are not included. This shows up in policies, laws, programs and even in congregations. We not only need to include other voices, but we also need to make sure we are listening and sharing power. If we do not do this well, we will continue to see divisions. I also believe that leadership is critical. We need to ensure that we are bringing diverse representation and grooming new leadership to offer unique perspectives, talent, and brilliance. Our city’s ability to prosper will be contingent upon the ability of all in our city to prosper.
What is your dream for Dallas?
My dream for Dallas is one word – innovation. I want Dallas to be the cutting-edge city that solves tough issues like poverty, educational inequity, mass incarceration, policing and race relations, to name a few. By bringing unique voices, diverse experiences and talent to the table, we can build a city that can solve problems and serve as a model for other cities.
What brings you hope during these times?
I am hopeful in this season because I am seeing folks who love justice, seek mercy, and who are passionate about change. Despite all the difficulties we face, I am hopeful as I see people coming together to create the change we so desperately need.
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