Bob Ray Sanders' journalism career has spanned four decades and three media: newspaper, television and radio. He currently is Associate Editor and Senior Columnist for 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.
Bob Ray Sanders
Bob Ray Sanders joined KERA-TV in 1972 as a reporter for the station's innovative Newsroom program. Sanders later served as vice president 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 board of the Mental Health Association of Tarrant County, the board of Community Hospice of Texas, the advisory board of the AIDS Outreach Center in Fort Worth and the advisory board of Goodwill Industries.
He has served as “Professional in Residence” in the Journalism Department of Texas Christian University, where he taught the course, “Race, Gender and Mass Media.”
Sanders has received some of journalism's most prestigious awards, among them: five awards from the Houston, New York and Chicago film festivals, five Dallas Press Club KATIE Awards, three Corporation for Public Broadcasting Awards; a regional Emmy Award; a National Association of Black Journalists award for Best TV Sports Feature, and a National Headliner Award for outstanding investigative reporting.
Other honors include: "Ethics Award" from the TCU Journalism Department; Distinguished Alumni Award, Fort Worth Independent School District; induction into the "Hall of Honor," University of North Texas Journalism Department; induction in the Texas Literary Hall of Fame; and the "Thomas Jefferson Liberty Award" from the Dallas Civil Liberties Union.
He is married to Dorothy Brown-Sanders. They have one son, Chandon.
Cynthia R. Garza
Cynthia R. Garza is an Assistant District Attorney assigned to the Conviction Integrity Unit of the Dallas County District Attorney’s Office. She graduated from SMU Dedman School of Law in 2004 and subsequently practiced trial and appellate criminal defense at Sorrels, Udashen & Anton. Ms. Garza joined the District Attorney’s Office’s Appellate Division in 2008 and later joined the Conviction Integrity Unit in 2010. Ms. Garza has handled a variety of cases, ranging from post-conviction death penalty cases, to the exonerations of innocent men.
Ms. Garza was named a Rising Star in 2008 and 2009 by Texas Super Lawyers Magazine, has been a guest lecturer in the various areas of her practice, including Spanish-language lecturing at an at-risk youth program. Ms. Garza has served on the Board of Directors for various bar associations, including the Dallas Hispanic Bar Association (DHBA) and Dallas Association of Young Lawyers (DAYL). She has also co-chaired committees with the Dallas Bar Association, DHBA, and DAYL.
The first of its kind in the United States, the Conviction Integrity Unit of the Dallas County District Attorney's Office was established by District Attorney Craig Watkins in July of 2007, and reviews and re-investigates legitimate post conviction claims of innocence in accordance with the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure, Chapter 64 (Motion for Forensic DNA Testing).
Assistant Chief Abdul Pridgen
Assistant Chief Abdul Pridgen was born and raised in The Bronx, NY. He enlisted in the United States Navy following his senior year of high school and attended Cryptologic Technician Maintenance School. He was stationed in Yokosuka, Japan and served in Desert Storm. He was honorably discharged 1991 and transitioned into the United States Navy Reserve. Assistant Chief Pridgen is a retired United States Navy Chief Petty Officer.
Assistant Chief Pridgen was commissioned as a Fort Worth Police officer on December 11, 1992. He has served in a variety of assignments during his tenure including Narcotics, Zero Tolerance, Traffic, Operational Analysis, S.W.A.T., Intelligence, Homicide, Public Information Officer, Internal Affairs, Criminal Investigations, West Division Commander, and his current position as assistant chief of the Patrol Bureau. Assistant Chief Pridgen earned a Bachelor's degree in Criminal Justice from Dallas Baptist University. He holds an Advanced Peace Officer license, is a certified Police Instructor and is a graduate of the Southern Police Institute and the FBI National Academy.
Prof. of Political Science (Emeritus)
Green Distinguished Emeritus Tutor
Texas Christian University
Don Jackson will be representing the North Texas Civil Rights Project. Don has spent most of his career working on issues involving the Constitution of the United States, the Bill of Rights and Human Rights Law under universal principles of international law.
Don became a TCU faculty member after working as a Supreme Court Fellow under then Supreme Court Chief Justice Warren Burger in Washington, DC. For many years in Fort Worth, Don took pro bono cases mostly involving public school students. One example was in a rural public high school near Jacksboro that was requiring its senior students to submit a “personal plan of salvation” for a high school course. That was stopped, without litigation, through his intervention. The biggest victory for which he worked came from the Texas Supreme Court, which ruled unanimously that the Sheriff of Tarrant County (Fort Worth) could not establish his own evangelical church in the Tarrant County Jail by allowing a favored few inmates to participate in his “inspiration of choice.” Separation of church and state has always been among Don’s passions. He formerly served on the National Board of Trustees of Americans United for Separation of Church and State.
Don has always said that he found his true vocation not in the practice of law, but in teaching undergraduates at TCU, where he has been a member of the faculty since 1975. He is still teaching and coaching TCU’s Undergraduate Moot Supreme Court Team.
Don is committed to transcending political partisanship and ideological positions of the left or right in our continuing efforts to protect and promote the Common Good.