Our new event series targets an engaged, active audience interested in participating in important community conversations, hearing high-quality information and
analysis, and making business and personal connections.

Check back here for our upcoming events in this series. Become a member today and be the first to receive an invitation to our all of our in-person events.


Past Candid Conversations Events

“Where we were vs. where we are”

Held Mar. 9, 2022 at Texas Wesleyan University

Bob Ray Sanders Moderator

Bob Ray Sanders’ journalism career spanned more than four decades and three media: newspaper, television and radio. In 2015 he retired as Associate Editor and Senior Columnist from the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, the newspaper where he began his professional career. As a young journalist with the paper, he served as courthouse reporter and political writer before leaving to begin a distinguished career in broadcasting.

He joined KERA-TV in 1972 as a reporter for the station’s innovative Newsroom program. Sanders later served as manager of KERA Radio, vice president/station manager of KERA-TV, and host and producer of the station’s award-winning program, News Addition.

A 1969 graduate of North Texas State University, Sanders is past president of the Press Club of Fort Worth. He is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists, the National Association of Black Journalists and the Dallas/Fort Worth Association of Black Journalists. He currently serves on the advisory board of Community Hospice of Texas, the AIDS Outreach Center in Fort Worth and Goodwill Industries.


Dr. John L. Barnett, Jr. Panelist

Dr. John L. Barnett, Jr. began his practice of Pediatric Dentistry in 1978 in New Orleans, Louisiana. While in New Orleans, Dr. Barnett was very active in organized dentistry as a member of the American Dental Association, National Dental Association, and the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry. Dr. Barnett has served as President of the Pelican State Dental Association, President of the Louisiana Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, and Chairman of the Medicaid Task Force for the Louisiana Dental Association.  Dr. Barnett also worked at the LSU School of Dentistry, for over twenty years, as an Associate Professor. 

After Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans in 2005, Dr. Barnett moved back to his childhood home of Fort Worth, Texas and opened Kids Stop Dental Care in 2007. Dr. Barnett’s love of art and music can be seen and heard throughout the colorful new dental facility as well as his notable art collection housed in his home.  Dr. Barnett is committed to his health through jogging, weight training, nutrition and yoga.  Dr. Barnett has completed six marathons in his running career.  He and his wife, Dr. Arlene Barnett, have three children, Airin, John III (Harmony), Nathaniel and two grandchildren.


Dr. Whitnee D. Boyd Panelist

Dr. Whitnee Boyd is a native Arkansan. She currently works for the Office of the Chancellor at
TCU and serves as an adjunct faculty in the honors college. Her work focuses on building and
managing internal and external partnerships, researching first-generation college students and
identity development, and serving as the divisional lead for diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Whitnee enjoys and values family, faith and fellowship. She has an entrepreneurial spirit and is a creative at heart. She has space to create through operating her own consultancy firm, Doc B. Empowers, and her newly formed podcast, This World Is Ours, focused on the global experiences of Black women across the world. She is committed to community and serves across the city of Fort Worth in numerous capacities including boards, task forces, and most importantly to her alongside community members committed to creating a more inclusive and just city. She hopes that with each encounter each of us can empower others along the way.


Mayor Mattie Parker Panelist

Mattie Parker was elected in June 2021 as the 45th Mayor of Fort Worth. Leading one of the fastest
growing large cities in the nation, Parker has set her focus on key issues that move Fort Worth forward
including economic development growth, innovative transportation and mobility solutions, quality
education opportunities for every student, and building safer, more prosperous communities.

Parker is a licensed attorney, with more than seventeen years of experience in national, state and local public affairs, including her service as the chief of staff for Mayor and the Fort Worth City Council where she helped shape major policy decisions on a variety of complex issues. She was the founding CEO of Fort Worth Cradle to Career and the Tarrant To & Through (T3) Partnership.


Estrus Tucker Panelist

Estrus Tucker is a national Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Consultant, Master Facilitator & President & CEO of DEI Consultants Inc. LLC. Estrus has more than thirty five years experience in executive leadership in local, state and national nonprofit operations & governance. 

Estrus was recognized as one of the 400 Most Influential People in Fort Worth, Texas in 2021 and 2020 by Fort Worth Inc. Magazine, a recipient of the 2019 Dr. Marion J. Brooks Living Legends Award, and also the recipient of the 2012 International Assoc. of Human Rights Agencies (IAOHRA) Individual Achievement Award for his work and leadership in support of transformational leadership in Mississippi; Belfast, Northern Ireland; Cape town, South Africa and Texas.

Estrus’ current Board service includes the Tarrant County Workforce Development Board, Fort Worth Public Arts Commission (Chair), Historic Como Preservation Council (Pres), Development Corporation of Tarrant County and the Brite Divinity School Board of Visitors (Chair). He is a Vietnam-era Veteran, an ordained minister active in interfaith and ecumenical initiatives, and an alumnus of the University of Texas at Arlington, Leadership Fort Worth, and the John Ben Shepherd Texas Public Leadership Forum. 


Our Event Sponsors

Special thanks to the sponsors for helping make this event possible!

For sponsorship information, please contact Jodye Newton (jodye.newton@fortworthreport.org).