DRC leader joins 11th Engage Dallas class

By Catie George, Director, Communications & Storytelling

The Dallas Regional Chamber’s (DRC) Managing Director of Leadership Programs Olympia Newman has been accepted to participate in the 11th class of Engage Dallas. Newman is the second person from the DRC to participate in the program’s 11-year history.

Engage Dallas is a leadership program focused on advancing equity in Dallas County through civic engagement and service. Class members will learn about Dallas County’s history before serving the community.

“Excited to share that I’ve been accepted into the 11th class of Engage Dallas,” wrote Newman in a LinkedIn Post. “I’m grateful for this opportunity to advance equity, civic engagement, and service in our community. Remarkable things happen through education and collaboration, and I can’t wait to see what we’ll achieve together.”

As a class member of Engage Dallas, Newman will spend 10 months in the leadership program, learning and serving the community. At the end of the program, the class will also present a culminating project, or Impact Project.

“This year, the Impact Project will be focused on addressing the issue of panhandling in Dallas County,” said Newman. Over the course of the program, participants will learn how to bridge the gaps to collaborate for lasting systemic change and propose actionable solutions to city governments for effectively addressing the emergent and systemic forces driving panhandling.

The 11th class of Engage Dallas.

Engage Dallas differs from other leadership programs, including the DRC’s own Leadership Dallas program, because it is more expressly committed to learning about the history of Dallas County and participating in civic engagement through a racial equity lens.

“Engage Dallas fosters a ground-up approach, empowering a new generation of community-focused leaders with a deep understanding of local needs. These leaders are the backbone of our communities and directly address the challenges we face through their everyday work,” Newman said. “Leadership Dallas, on the other hand, cultivates leaders who can shape the region’s future with a broader strategic perspective. This program engages our business community to leverage their influence and resources to effect positive change, working alongside the community leaders developed through Engage Dallas.”

As the Managing Director of Leadership Programs at the DRC, Newman’s experience will give her a different perspective on leadership programs and a renewed vision for her work.

“Participating in Engage Dallas is like taking a deep dive into the heart of our community and into the issues the DRC works to address every day. By directly connecting with community members, I gain even deeper insights into the most recent issues and opportunities facing the region,” she said. “This firsthand experience is invaluable for informing the design of the Leadership Dallas program. Future cohorts will benefit from a curriculum that reflects the most current needs and equips them not only to understand the complexities of the Dallas Region but also to champion solutions that drive positive systems change, furthering the DRC’s mission.”

Newman’s participation in Engage Dallas promises to be educational and revitalizing.

“I’m eager to delve deeper into Engage Dallas and understand the root causes of complex issues in our communities. By learning from diverse community members and collaborating with passionate individuals across sectors, I’m eager to gain insights into how to effect systems-level change,” said Newman. “This knowledge will be invaluable in my future endeavors, allowing me to contribute to solutions that create a more equitable and thriving Dallas County.”