Mayor’s Star Council Mid-Year Retreat Focuses on Leadership, Equity

The Mayor’s Star Council (MSC) class six recently gathered for a one-day retreat dedicated to the city’s current events, leadership development, and equity building.

Held at the Dallas Entrepreneur Center in the West End, the retreat featured distinguished speakers throughout the city and recent alumni of the MSC program.

Brent Brown, president and CEO of the Trinity Park Conservancy (TPC), began the day’s learning with a discussion on the history of Dallas’ most storied natural resource, the Trinity River. Brown touched on the re-routing of the river in the early 20th century, the physical and societal barrier the body of water creates, and how even after 116 years and more than 25 plans for river development, the TPC is committed to developing meaningful amenities within and around the levies by involving the community through all aspects of the design process.


The morning continued with an active discussion on the role of equity in leadership, led by Jarie Bradley, Chief People Officer at City Square and MSC alumna. Bradley asked class six members to evaluate their own personal privilege, how they use their power and relationships, and how each component can drive others forward through inclusion.

“What I want you to feel like today is knowing that you are part of the solution,” Bradley told the class. “We all have a responsibility to take the diversity and inclusion part to the next level. We are able-bodied, and we have the means to do it.”

The afternoon portion of the retreat kicked off with Dallas City Council Member Adam McGough sharing his B.U.I.L.D. method for coalition building through conflict. McGough’s presentation provided MSC class six members a formula for successful cooperation between parties who might otherwise be at an impasse. The key to his formula: active listening and understanding.


The retreat wrapped with thought-provoking activities focused on authentic leadership led by April Bowman, founder and CEO of Bold Believers United and MSC alumna. Bowman’s exercises challenged members of the retreat to scrutinize their ideas of leadership to connect genuinely, reflect on competencies, and assess and stretch to see how leadership growth can be achieved.

The mid-year retreat left each member of class six equipped and energized for the next six months of activities of the Mayor’s Star Council.