The HisBA Forums Presents: Black Lives Matter

September 30, 2020
2:00 PM - 3:00 PM

Virtual Meeting




Glen Thomas Austin Jr. is an attorney and Legislative Aide in the Texas Senate. Originally from Texarkana, Texas, Glen earned his undergraduate degree in Psychology from the University of Central Arkansas. Glen then attended Thurgood Marshall School of Law at Texas Southern University where he earned his Juris Doctor degree, along with certifications in Mediation and Government Law. During law school and upon graduation, Glen served in the Texas legislature as a Legislative Director and worked on several successful political campaigns. Glen went on to practice property tax and school finance law before returning to the legislature. Glen enjoys serving his community by holding leadership positions on several nonprofit boards and volunteering for community organizations.

Geré Cole is a Senior Associate Attorney in the Tax Controversy Services Department at alliantgroup, LP. In this role, she leads companies through complex audits with the Internal Revenue Service and the Department of Revenue for various states. She represents clients in industries including, but not limited to, Manufacturing, Architecture and Engineering, Food Products, Construction, and Systems Integration. In addition, she mentors Associate Attorneys in her department and trains new hires across the company. Prior to joining alliantgroup, LP, Geré was an Assistant District Attorney in the Felony Trial Bureau at the Harris County District Attorneys Office.

Geré is a member of the Houston Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. where she volunteers with the Delta Academy youth program. Her community involvement also includes membership in the Junior League of Houston, Inc. and The Mademoiselles Service and Social Club. She previously served on the Board of Directors for both organizations.

Geré is a native of Houston and graduated Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics from Spelman College. She continued her education at Loyola New Orleans, College of Law where she received her Juris Doctorate with a certificate in International Law.

Shekira C. Dennis is a political strategist and public engagement expert with over 10+ years of proven leadership in steering community outreach programs and initiatives. She has developed and led successful campaigns for political candidates by creating compelling video, social, and personal strategies to connect with target audiences. She is proficient at polling and conducting demographic research, fundraising, and strategic communications.

She currently serves as the Managing Partner of Next-Wave Strategic Consulting Group a political consulting and public engagement firm. She is expert in developing and managing local, state, and federal political and issue-based campaigns while leading public engagement strategies for government agencies, non-profits, and corporate responsibility outlets. She previously served as the Community Outreach Director at the Harris County District Attorney's Office tasked with communicating the structure, function, and vision of the agency to community stakeholders and program partners.

As a focused, strategic, and results-oriented leader, she has served as the Program Coordinator at the Texans Together Education Fund where she worked to engage low propensity voters in underserved communities to participate in the civic process. Shortly thereafter, she earned a summer organizing fellowship with President Obama’s campaign in Charlotte, North Carolina. She also completed the White House Internship Program, where she worked in the Office of Presidential Personnel in the Obama Administration. She led KIPP Houston and KIPP Sunnyside campuses as an IGNITE Texas facilitator empowering young women to run for office and went on to serve as the Deputy Political Director for the Sylvester Turner for Mayor Campaign.

She is a graduate of the Houston Black Leadership Institute (HBLI), and the prestigious Women's Campaign School at Yale. She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science from the Barbara Jordan-Mickey Leland School of Public Affairs at Texas Southern University where she served as the 64th President of the Student Government Association.

Edgar Saldivar is a senior staff attorney at the ACLU of Texas. He defends the civil rights and civil liberties of ACLU clients in high impact litigation in state and federal courts. He received his J.D. from the University of Houston Law Center and received a B.A. in Philosophy, cum laude, from Harvard University. Edgar began his legal career in the private sector where he worked on complex, multi-party litigation in state and federal courts as a commercial litigator, before transitioning to the public interest sector and joining the ACLU to pursue “the good fight.” His practice is focused on immigrants’ rights, voting rights and free speech cases, and his recent cases have challenged both the Trump Administration’s and the State of Texas’ anti-immigrant policies and voter suppression efforts.

Edgar has formerly served as President-Elect and an Executive Board Member of the Hispanic Bar Association of Houston, and he currently serves on HisBA’s Advisory Board. He has been recognized for his work by leading national and regional business publications, including Martindale-Hubbell (AV® Preeminent™ Peer Review Rated), Latino Leaders Magazine (Houston’s Leaders of the Future), and Houston Business Journal (40 Under 40). In 2017, Mr. Saldivar was the only Texas attorney and sole representative of the NGO sector honored by the Hispanic National Bar Association with its prestigious Top Lawyers Under 40 Award.

A native of Pasadena, Texas, and son of Mexican immigrants (his mother was a migrant farmworker and father worked in a slaughterhouse), Edgar is ever mindful of his origins and the challenges faced by immigrant and minority communities. His work is driven by a deep passion to serve the poor and marginalized.


$0.00 Members

$10.00 Non-Members