On April 24, 2019, Texans from all walks of life and professions will gather in Bastrop, Texas at the Hogg Foundation for Mental Health’s 2019 Robert Lee Sutherland Seminar: Working Together for Rural Well-Being.

Check out blog posts by our speakers for their perspectives and insights into their hard-earned wisdom on topics related to collaborating for community change, facilitating inclusive conversations, and strengthening rural well-being:


Sheila SavannahSheila Savannah explains, “All too often, efforts to collaborate begin around tables limited to people and groups we’ve partnered with before—those who are most like us, and those with whom we have familiarity and trust.” Learn more in her post, Drawing the Circle of Inclusion: The First Step is Trust.

Sheila Savannah is managing director for safety, mental health and well-being at Prevention Institute.




Wendy EllisLearn about the “Pair of ACEs” in Wendy Ellis‘ post, Building Community Resilience. She says, “Building community resilience means that we’re not only helping children and families ‘bounce back’ from adversity—we are actively addressing the sources of adversity to prevent trauma…”

Wendy Ellis, MPH, DrPH, is project director of Building Community Resilience at the Milken Institute School of Public Health at George Washington University.




Anna Jackson and Nakia WinfieldIn their blog post, Creating Conditions for Inclusive ConversationsAnna Jackson and Nakia Winfield encourage us to think about “tiny shifts in the way we meet together that make a big difference in making it possible for truly diverse groups to make progress on shared challenges.”

Anna Jackson, MSSW (pictured left), is the founder of Alpinista Consulting. Nakia Winfield, LMSW (pictured right), is an independent equity consultant.




Oscar BenavidesOscar Benavides says, “To become effective influencers, we must first recognize that we have a choice: We can either invite others to join or resist change efforts.” Learn why humility is key for systems change in How Changing Ourselves Can Change Our Systems.

Oscar Benavides is vice president of Strategic Initiatives for FiveTwo Network.




Frances Dunn Butterfoss and Robert ShankleIn Recruiting and Engaging Diverse, Committed Collaborative Members, Frances Dunn Butterfoss says, “When inviting prospective members, involve someone who has a connection with the person.” Councilman Robert Shankle says, “Making sure people understand that their views are valued and respected is critical.”

Frances Dunn Butterfoss, PhD, MSEd (pictured left), is president of Coalitions Work. Councilman Robert Shankle (pictured right) is president of Impact Lufkin.