Sylvia Trent-Adams, president of The University of North Texas Health Science Center at Fort Worth, speaks at the North Texas Social Impact Summit on Nov. 3 at the United Way of Tarrant County. Trent-Adams was one of eight Fort Worth leaders to speak about current issues and solutions. Trent-Adams and Leah King, the CEO of the United Way of Tarrant County, spoke about COVID-19 experiences in the county. (Cristian ArguetaSoto | Fort Worth Report)

Open Channels Group CEO Tonya Veasey had a vision of collaboration for Tarrant County.

She took the first step toward realizing it Nov. 3 with the North Texas Social Impact Summit, a gathering of city and community leaders aimed at placing everyone on the same page.

Speakers such as Angelica Geter, a public health scientist and social impact strategist, Sylvia Trent-Adams, who has a Ph.D., and is the president of The University of North Texas Health Science Center at Fort Worth, and Veasey discussed public health, leadership and workplace best practices at the social impact summit.

“I’m really big on not doing things to check a box but doing things that I can walk away and say, ‘OK that made a difference,’” Veasey said. “They’re doing all their work in a bubble, and I’m like, ‘Why don’t we just bring everyone together?’”

Tonya Veasey, CEO of Open Channels Group, listens to a keynote speaker Nov. 3, 2023, at the United Way of Tarrant County administration building. “We’ve never really had a social impact summit, where you bring these individuals and organizations together to talk about what are some best practices, what are things that they’re doing that are really moving the needle,” Veasey said. “And creating this opportunity for like-minded people to get together and really try to tackle those issues that are specifically affecting Tarrant County.” (Cristian ArguetaSoto | Fort Worth Report)
Jonah Murray, center, board president of Finn’s Place, listens to a keynote speaker Nov. 3. Tonya Veasey, the CEO of Open Channels Group, a marketing agency in Fort Worth, said community leaders could be more effective if they work together and are on the same page. “My hope is that we create this environment but that what comes out of this is a support system and a network,” Veasey said. “So my hope is that, after this, I am creating ways that we will continue to stay in contact with each other.” (Cristian ArguetaSoto | Fort Worth Report)
Leah King, the president of the United Way of Tarrant County, hosts a fireside chat with Sylvia Trent-Adams, the president of The University of North Texas Health Science Center at Fort Worth, Nov. 3, at the United Way of Tarrant County offices. King and Trent-Adams discussed health care and public health during and after the COVID-19 pandemic. “This distrust that we saw during COVID is one example of how much of the community distrusts science and the medical community globally,” Trent-Adams said. “I think we need to do a better job of communication. We also need to be able to build trust where there’s audience gaps and historical challenges, especially the African-American and Hispanic community.” (Cristian ArguetaSoto | Fort Worth Report)

Veasey hopes city leaders will work together to more impactfully affect the communities they serve. Based on reception, Veasey plans to release a 2024 summit date in the next few weeks.

“My hope is that there will be a lot of ‘Ah-ha!’ moments. Not only are you finding new ways to deliver on how to have a much bigger impact on the community, you’ve also been able to gather and have a larger network to help you do that,” Veasey said.

Cristian ArguetaSoto is the community engagement journalist at the Fort Worth Report. Contact him by email or via Twitter. At the Fort Worth Report, news decisions are made independently of our board members and financial supporters. Read more about our editorial independence policy here.

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Cristian is a May 2021 graduate of Texas Christian University. At TCU, ArguetaSoto served as staff photographer at TCU360 and later as its visual editor, overseeing other photojournalists. A Fort Worth...