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In Case You Missed It

The vitalvoices Speaker Series serves as a forum to bring scholars and practitioners alike to speak to students, faculty, alumni and community partners at UHD's College of Public Service. It is our hope that those we invite to speak will share, from the heart, their professional experiences, their knowledge, and how the work they do impacts society as a whole. We like to feature people whose work is interdisciplinary and touches upon the fields social work, criminal justice and urban education.

If a vitalvoices session was recorded, the titles below will link directly to its recorded presentation on our YouTube channel. Please enjoy.

Domestic Violence - It's Not Just Physical

Thursday, 9, 5:30 - 7:30 p.m.

Hosted by: Assorted Panel 

Join us to learn how behaviors considered to be “normal” or “cultural” are, in fact, abusive. Two domestic violence survivor-advocates, along with Thecia Jenkins and her team from the Harris County Domestic Violence Coordinating Council, and Jessica Bellant of the Bridge, a domestic violence shelter located in Pasadena, TX, join us for a very special vitalvoices presentation.


The Challenges and Triumphs of Voting: An Insider's Perspective

Wednesday, October 4, 5:30 - 7:30 p.m.


Join us as we learn the hardships and the triumphs of voting through an insider's perspective. We will have guest speakers who have been through the civil rights movement and share their experiences as well as guest speakers who help communities to voice their vote.


The Multidisciplinary Nature of Child Exploitation Investigations (Panel Discussion)

Thursday, September 21, 9:30 - 11:30 a.m.

Hosted by: Dr. Elizabeth Gilmore (Featuring Tony Goodwin and Brandon Poor, aka, The Catfish Cops)

A HPD police officer, a forensic interviewer, an assistant attorney general, a victim advocate, and the Catfish Cops are joined by Dr. Beth Gilmore to discuss the teamwork involved in combatting this modern day evil. Event will be held live in C-100 and via zoom.

Present Day Predators: Understanding and Combatting Child Exploitation

Wednesday, September 20, 5:30 - 7 p.m.

Hosted by: Tony Goodwin and Brandon Poor.

Join our special guests (otherwise known as the Catfish Cops) for an interesting look at the underside of childhood sexual exploitation. Tony Godwin & Brandon Poor are law enforcement detectives with large metropolitan police agencies in North Texas. With over 40 years of cumulative experience, and the last 17 years specifically in the area of online child exploitation, they speak with authority about the vile offenders who are attempting to lure and harm children on the internet. Event held live in C-100 and via zoom.

Suicide Prevention: Creating Hope Through Action

Monday, September 11, 6 - 7:30 p.m.

Hosted by: UHD's Dr. Shahnaz Savani with guests, Dr. Robin Gearing from the University of Houston, Jennifer Battle from Harris Health, and Dr. Anish Cherian, live via zoom, from the National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro Sciences in India.

Suicide can affect every one of us having a profound impact on those around the victim. By raising awareness, encouraging well informed action, and reducing the stigma around suicide, depression, and other mental illnesses, we can reduce instances of suicide and suicide attempts here in Texas, the U.S. and around the world. Come learn to be the light for someone who may need it the most.

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April 11th, from 5:30pm - 7:00pm​

Hosted by:  Richard Simmons & Jackie Aguielra

This vitalvoices event will explore how both functional literacy and financial literacy contribute to the economic success in society. The discussion will explore the state of financial literacy in Texas, how the Mayor’s Office of Adult Literacy (MOAL) involvement in local national adult literacy initiatives impacts the economic health of our city, and highlight how the College of Public Service and the United Way of Greater Houston have been working to promote financial literacy.


Building a Movement: The Intersection of Social Work, Education, & Criminal Justice​

March 7th, from 6:00pm - 7:30pm​

Hosted by:  CPS Gator Advisory Board​​​

Partnering with the CPS Gator Advisory Board (CPS’s Gator Advisory Board members are students who represent the disciplines offered at the college: Criminal Justice, Social Work, and Urban Education.) to provide students and community members alike an opportunity to ask the tough questions like, “what’s it really like working in the public service fields today?” Get answers about what is currently going on within police departments, schools, and social service agencies from the “boots on the ground” people who work there.​


Why Family Collaboration in School Matters​

March 2nd, from 5:30pm-7:00pm​

Hosted by:  Dr. Ann Ishimaru, Associate Professor of Education at the University of Washington​

UHD's College of Public Service and UH's College of Education invite you to join Dr. Ann Ishimaru of University of Washington speak on how effective partnerships with families and communities are essential for transforming educational systems.

Situational Awareness​

February 15​th, from 2:00pm-3:00pm​

Hosted by:  Lieutenant Trinity Delafance of the UHD Police Department​

Lieutenant Trinity Delafance of the UHD Police Department, shares how to assess your environm​ent, he questions common assumptions and how that can put us in danger. He also speaks about how to trust your in​stinct when things don’t “feel” right. Participants learn what things to regularly lo​ok for (such as knowing where the exits are), etc. This session also includes a simulation of what to do in a dangerous situation. Participants review emergency response plans and most important, learn how to create their own unique survival mindset.​


The De-institutionalization Process: What Veterans Wish You Knew​​​

November 10th, from 2:00pm-3:30pm​

Hosted by: Mr. Steven Villano​​

Military service is difficult, demanding and dangerous. Returning to civilian life is difficult, demanding and disruptive. It poses challenges for the men and women who served in our armed forces as well as their loved ones. This event will give you a better look into the issues veterans face when returning to civilian life and what they wish others knew to better support them.​


Sex Trafficking In Houston: Hidden In Plain Sight​​

October 18th - 20th, from 5:30pm-7:30pm​

Hosted by: ​​Ms. Rhonda Kuykendall​​

Sex Trafficking: Hidden in Plain Sight was an extremely successful three day conference. Please click on the title above to watch each evening's presentation. Thank you to everyone that joined us, both virtually and in person. And, thank you to all our guest speakers for coming out and informing us about sex trafficking​. ​