Jean Boone is a retired Justice of the Peace from Waco. She was the first Black woman elected in that capacity in McLennan County, where she served for 14 years. She has worked tirelessly with community-based organizations, volunteering with vulnerable populations within her church and community. In 2019, she served as a volunteer co-facilitator for Truth Be Told’s Talk to Me Writing program at the STRIVE Center, housed within the Mountain View Women’s Unit in Gatesville.
Because of her experience as a volunteer facilitator for Truth Be Told, Jean chose to apply for the organization’s Board of Directors. Being a formerly incarcerated woman and a survivor of the federal mass incarceration experience, she felt her perspective would enable her to engage with the board in a meaningful manner.
She is an avid community and social justice activist for underserved communities. Previously, she has served on the boards of Neighbor Works, a Waco-based nonprofit whose mission is to build stronger neighborhoods through homeownership, and the Heart of Texas Community Health Center, an organization that ensures high-quality, equitable health care for all.
Jean is a Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) graduate who earned her bachelor’s degree in political science from Prairie View A&M University and a master’s degree in education from Texas Southern University. She is a certified Texas Master Gardener and a Special Olympics fan. She enjoys playing Scrabble and reading.
Rakhi Agrawal moved from Chicago to Austin in 2015 to involve herself in community efforts focused on building equity and justice for marginalized communities. Once in Austin, she served as a public school teacher for four years, teaching middle school and high school math in Title I schools. She then returned to her passion for working in nonprofit development, serving as a grant writer, development director and development consultant.
Rakhi has served as chair for the Young Women’s Alliance and has helped lead New Horizons Lacrosse, an organization dedicated to growing the game of lacrosse in Austin’s marginalized communities. She also is an active participant in The New Philanthropists’ inaugural Board Mentors of Color Program.
Rakhi is always seeking to connect genuinely with other folks who are striving to impact and transform lives and reimagine structures so that they effectuate racial justice, economic empowerment and community for all. She identifies as an abolitionist. In her leisure time, she enjoys going to the movies, exploring new restaurants, supporting local creatives and healing through nature. She studied applied mathematics and philosophy at Barnard College of Columbia University in New York, N.Y., where she graduated with a bachelor of arts degree in 2014.
Bridget O’Shaughnessy is an assistant district attorney in the Special Victims Unit at the Travis County District Attorney’s Office. Prior to this, she was an associate attorney and mediator at O’Toole Atwell PC, where she focused on business and contract disputes, guardianship, and family law specializing in domestic violence matters and Title IX. Bridget also once served as a staff attorney at Texas Advocacy Project, where she represented and counseled survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking regarding protective orders. For Texas Advocacy Project, she led trauma-informed education and outreach efforts to women’s shelters, law enforcement, government agencies and universities with a focus on Title IX. She earned her law degree from Texas Tech University in May 2015.
Heather Emerson has spent the past 15 years rebuilding her life after being incarcerated for one year. Her promise upon release was to grow, be honest and do good things. Today, Heather's mission is to change food through strengthening local food systems so that everybody wins: the community, our health and our planet. In 2016, Heather founded Austin company Prep To Your Door in an effort to make that a reality. Serving Austin and Houston, Prep to Your Door delivers organic, farm-to-table meals in zero-waste packaging. All products are plant-based, gluten and dairy free.
Heather graduated from The University of Texas with dual degrees in mathematics and linguistics. This year, she earned a master's degree from Harvard University.
At Prep to Your Door, she co-leads a team of 25 people. She says her proudest accomplishments of late are winning "FAVE Sustainable Business" in 2019 and being invited to serve on Truth Be Told's Board of Directors. Heather was also a finalist for Austin Under 40 Awards this year.
Rodney Northern is a seasoned business builder with a unique blend of strategic vision, organizational leadership, financial acumen and a “get ‘er done” mentality. During his corporate tenure, he has led billion-dollar businesses, created more than $15 billion of sustainable innovation businesses and managed multimillion-dollar budgets for many well-known consumer brands, to include Miller Brewing Company, Tyson Foods Inc. and Coca-Cola Company. Today, Rodney runs Nucleus Group, a consulting practice that focuses on business operations, leadership development, and organizational alignment and transformation. He is also a lecturer at The University of Texas at Austin, where he instructs students on innovation and entrepreneurship processes and scale.
Born in Kansas and raised in Southern California, Rodney has called Austin home for the past 10 years. He received his bachelor of science degree in economics from the University of California. He earned his master of business administration degree with an emphasis in corporate finance and marketing management at the University of Southern California’s Marshall School of Business.