Board members

Stacy Seicshnaydre, Chair

Stacy Seicshnaydre


Stacy is the William K. Christovich Professor of Law and Robert A. Ainsworth Professor of the Courts and Federal System at Tulane Law School. She is a lawyer and scholar specializing in fair housing and anti-discrimination law, and her research and writing on housing law and policy have been influential in federal civil rights litigation. From 2016-2021, she served as Associate Dean for Experiential Learning and Public Interest Programs at Tulane Law School. In that role, Prof. Stacy oversaw the full range of skills training, experiential, and public interest initiatives, including Clinics, Trial Advocacy and moot court, externships, Intersession skills boot camps, and Tulane’s pioneering pro bono program. As director of Tulane Law School’s Civil Litigation Clinic from 2004 to 2016, she guided students in the representation of clients on a variety of civil rights cases in federal courts at the district and appellate levels. She was also the founding executive director and later general counsel of the Greater New Orleans Fair Housing Action Center. Stacy clerked for Judge W. Eugene Davis of the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, then worked as a Skadden Fellow for the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law in Washington, D.C.

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Debra Kroupa

Vice Chair

Debra is the executive director of the TXS United Housing Program, Inc. where she works to develop affordable housing for low to moderate income families and provide social service programs including free lunches, counseling and educational programs for the community, emergency housing for battered or distressed women, and emergency shelter for the homeless.

Barbara Samuel, Secretary

Barbara Samuels


Barbara is formerly the Managing Attorney of the ACLU of Maryland’s Housing program. She was the lead ACLU counsel in multiple cases challenging governmental housing policies that foster segregation, including Thompson v. HUD, a landmark public housing desegregation case. Barbara helped found the Baltimore Regional Housing Partnership, a nonprofit created as part of the Thompson v. HUD remedy to provide housing opportunities in low-poverty and racially integrated neighborhoods for more than 4,400 Baltimore City families. She has awards from groups such as the NAACP and the Maryland Legal Services Corporation, and she was named one of Maryland’s “Top 25 Human Rights and Justice Champions” by the Legal Aid Bureau (2011). Before joining the ACLU in 1993, Barbara was a legal services housing attorney in Baltimore at the Legal Aid Bureau in Southwest Virginia. She received her law degree with honors from George Washington University and her B.A. from Bucknell University.

john a. powell


john is an internationally recognized expert on civil rights, civil liberties, structural racism, housing, poverty, and democracy. He is the Director of the Othering & Belonging Institute at the University of California, Berkeley.

This research institute brings together scholars, community advocates, communicators, and policymakers to identify and eliminate the barriers to an inclusive, just, and sustainable society and to create transformative change toward a more equitable world. john holds the Robert D. Haas Chancellor’s Chair in Equity and Inclusion and is a Professor of Law in African American Studies and Ethnic Studies at UC Berkeley.

Previously, he was the Executive Director of the Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity at Ohio State University, where he also held the Gregory H. Williams Chair in Civil Rights & Civil Liberties at the Moritz College of Law.

Beth Bentley, Director

Beth Bentley


Beth is a community leader who is passionate about helping historic legacies live. She creates opportunities for educational, community, civic, and economic engagement through strategic collaboration, outreach, and writing. She is a small business owner and a Care Coordinator with Allen ISD. She serves as a liaison between the community and the school to provide excellent education opportunities, programs, and resources for students and support for teachers and families.

Sarah Cotton Nelson, Director

Sarah Cotton Nelson


Sarah is a social impact leader with over 20 years of experience guiding organizations to maximize their impact. She spent 14 years at Communities Foundation of Texas as the Chief Philanthropy Officer. As Chief Philanthropy Officer, Sarah enhanced policies and procedures to ensure more racially, geographically, and culturally inclusive grantmaking. Before this role, she teamed with other researchers to conduct public policy research studies for the RAND Corporation, managed a youth center for teens in downtown Los Angeles, and supported nonprofits in the post-war period in El Salvador with USAID. Sarah is a 2017 Presidential Leadership Scholar, a 2016 GEO Change Leaders in Philanthropy fellow, a 2003 American Marshall Memorial Fellow, a 1997 graduate fellow in public policy and economics at Pontifícia Universidad Católica in Chile, and a graduate of UC Berkeley.

Dena Jackson, Director

Dena L. Jackson, Ph. D.


Dena L. Jackson, Ph.D. is the immediate past Interim President & CEO at Texas Women’s Foundation where she served in multiple c-suite roles since 2012. Focused on advancing research, statewide policy advocacy and innovative initiatives, Dr. Jackson continues to be a leader in the community.

The majority of Dr. Jackson’s career has been focused on the lives of women in healthcare, cancer prevention, mental health and economics. For the past decade, this has included specific focuses on housing stability, reproductive freedom and childcare access.

Following 14 years in healthcare administration and consulting, Dr. Jackson joined the nonprofit arena 2001 starting with the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation, fund raising consulting in South Florida and then to the University of Texas at Dallas to open both the Foundation Relations and Research Development offices at the University of Texas at Dallas during five years as Assistant VP.

A native Texan, Dr. Jackson earned her Doctoral degree in Health Studies at Texas Women’s University. She is a graduate of both Leadership Texas and Leadership North Texas. Her volunteer roles have included chair of Board of Directors for Asset Funder’s Network, committee leadership for Philanthropy Southwest and advisory boards of Early Matters Dallas and AFN North Texas. She spends her free time cooking, reading, gardening, playing with her rescue menagerie of two cats and two dogs, and traveling with husband, Bob.

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