Lowry Manders is a mom, a singer, a writer, and a former music teacher in Lake Highlands. Engaged in social justice and advocacy for many years, she saw the need for this group following the murder of George Floyd, the protests that followed, and the increasing engagement and energy of the community to BE BETTER and DO BETTER. She is proud of the way this forum is engaging in the work: the teaching, listening, learning, reflection, and action required for the long haul.
Lowry's passion for social justice and reform was influenced by growing up in the diversity of DISD magnet schools, by her years of work with The Stewpot as a teenager, her summer serving and learning in a black township of South Africa, her post-graduate years at Perkins Seminary, and her volunteer work for agencies like Vogel Alcove, Family Gateway, and refugee services in Vickery Meadows.
You might know her as "Mommy Manders" from her years blogging and speaking on child development and parenting. You might know her as the musical outreach leader for "Wee Volunteer" in Dallas, from her pre-school "Peacemaker" and "Good Deeds" camps in our community, or most recently, as the Volunteer Manager for ALL the Girl Scout Troops here in Lake Highlands, Service Unit 165! She also has a FREE community library in her home known as "LaLa's Little Library". Her heroes are Maya Angelou and Fred Rogers, and she strives to follow their examples as peacemakers for the community, and advocates for the disenfranchised. She lives in the LHE neighborhood with her husband Dustin (a gynecological oncologist for Texas Oncology), son MJ (13, Westwood), daughter Ellie (11, LHE), and her dog, Boomer.
Denita Jones is a single mom of 5 great kids, a lifelong community advocate, and works for the Poor People's Campaign Texas. She was born and raised in Greenwood, Mississippi. Her mother was an educator and her father worked in law enforcement. Jones believes that her parents' occupations have greatly influenced her path towards becoming a public servant, especially one who focuses on the combined forces of the education and prison systems. Her parents instilled the idea that an opportunity is always available to better the community by making sure resources are available to its citizens. Jones has transformed this idea into a lifestyle by advocating for juvenile offenders, education for children with learning disabilities, and against systemic racism.
Jones has presented research across the nation, including a conference for Minority Public Administrators in Washington, D.C. as well as the Mississippi Political Science Association. Her research was focused on the treatment, or lack thereof, of mental illnesses in juveniles, particularly those who pass through detention systems. However, due to recent events Denita wants to refocus her doctoral research on systemic racism and grassroots organizing.
When Denita is not advocating for her children or others, she spends her time volunteering as the current President of the Berkner High School PTA Board, Social and Emotional Wellness Vice Chair with SAGE. She is also Precinct Chair for Precinct 1038, Secretary of the Audelia Road Library Friends, Council Member of the Reflect US Dallas Chapter and All In Together Fellow. Denita prides herself in advocacy and educating her children in the lessons that are not found in textbooks.
Denita resides in Dallas with her children Diteke (25), Dionna (19), Denim (17), Dakota (16), Dallas (10) and their dog Snow.