Dollars for Good: Gov. Grants $18M to Prevent Trafficking, Southwest Airlines Selects Nonprofits for $1M Program

Plus, the Crow Family gives their Asian art collection and $23M to UTD, Jacobs invests in an energy-saving project, and the Harts donate to SMU for a new technology and entrepreneurship institute in this roundup of social efforts boosting nonprofits in North Texas.

From social funding to project grants to community service work, Dallas Innovates tracks the dollars for good across North Texas. Sign up for our e-newsletter to stay in the loop.

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Lauren Hawkins and Blair Welch contributed to this report.


Gov. Abbott grants $18M toward human trafficking prevention efforts in Texas

The Texas state government will be giving $232,261 to Dallas County and $164,057 to Tarrant County, as reported by CBS DFW.

Abbott began an initiative to combat human trafficking and sexual misconduct almost a year ago with the creation of a child sex trafficking team.

“Prior to the initiative, one of the things we noticed was that these cases were treated much differently,” Matthew Gilbert, the chief partner relations officer of Dallas Children’s Advocacy Center, told CBS DFW. “Law enforcement would treat these victims as prostitutes and because of some changes in some laws and because of this initiative, we’ve been able to bring these cases in house and help our partners understand that these children are victims and they’re children and they’re victims of child abuse.”

Since the initiative’s inception, the Dallas Children’s Advocacy Center said they have been able to help more than 100 child victims of sexual abuse. This new funding will go toward furthering Texas’ fight against human trafficking.

Dallas-based Jacobs invests in U.K. energy-saving project

A new project by Ovo Innovations, a U.K.-based developer of food safety applications, will be backed by funding from local technical professional services firm Jacobs and Carbon Trust. The funding amounted to £600,000, according to a release.

The funding will allow Ozo to increase the energy savings that could be made possible by implementing Ozo’s process of disinfecting food and feed areas, ‘eloclear’. Carbon Trust and Jacobs manage the Department of Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and Industrial Energy Efficiency Accelerator (IEEA), which aims to lower carbon emissions as well as improve competitiveness of industries in the United Kingdom.

Ozo’s project is focusing on how to make the food industry emit less energy and become more environmentally conscious with its three main goals:

  • removing hot water from the hygiene process at food factories;
  • reducing the overall volume of water being used; and
  • attaining powerful, high-quality hygiene outcomes.


“Consumers are recognizing that their food choices are putting the planet under pressure,” Rowan Gardner, CEO of Ozo, said in a statement. “We use 70 percent of our fresh water for food production. Hygiene is an area, which offers an opportunity to save energy and water whilst maintaining or improving standards.”

Gardner also said that better hygiene can help food products achieve a longer shelf life, as well as reduce food waste and maintain food safety.

UTD will be utilizing a new approach to increase grant donations

Although the University of Texas at Dallas receives nearly $100 million every year in external funds, receiving grants is often a competitive and challenging part of the higher education world. So, UTD has come up with a new approach to stand out: the ROAD to D.C. program.

The Research Opportunities and Development (ROAD) program will allow about 30 faculty members of the university to travel to Washington D.C. this spring, giving them the chance to meet with program managers at several federal funding agencies.

“By meeting with program managers, our faculty members have the opportunity to communicate with scientific leaders who have a view at 50,000 feet and understand how a project fits in the larger portfolio,” Dr. Joseph Pancrazio said in a statement.

Pancrazio also spoke about the long-term goals for the program, which include giving scholars the opportunities to cultivate relationships with major funding agencies and teach participants how to be successful when pursuing possible funding opportunities.


Crow Family donates their Asian art collection to UT Dallas along with $23 Million in support funding for the arts  

The Trammell and Margaret Crow family has given their entire museum collection to UT Dallas, establishing the Trammell and Margaret Crow Museum of Asian Art of the University of Texas at Dallas.

The art collection has been featured in Dallas since the 1960’s, but with the new donation, the collection of artwork will now be displayed at the school’s Richardson campus.

“This is a period of enormous growth for the arts at UTD,” UTD President Richard Benson told the Dallas Morning News.

The Crow family opened their current Asian art collection in 1998, and expanded from a collection to a museum in September 2018, during its 20th year. This included an expansion and the opening of a new exhibit, which Dallas Innovates previously reported on.  

“There are mixed feelings, and there’s bound to be a Chinese word for that,” Crow said. “It doesn’t reduce any of the pride that we have in the collection. Family-wide, it doubles, doesn’t it, really? I think the museum out north will be so strong and just naturally the Asian community, sooner or later, will visit that one more than downtown.”

Southwest Airlines announces nonprofit organizations selected for $1M grant program

The Dallas-based airline is expected to support 24 nonprofits across the U.S. in its grant program, including some in Dallas-Fort Worth.

The selected organizations are expected to use the funds toward K-12 STEM education, building a resilient workforce, or leadership development.

“We are looking forward to seeing the impact these wonderful organizations have in communities where Southwest Employees and Customers work and live,” Bob Jordan, Southwest’s executive vice president of corporate services, said in a statement. “These organizations each follow one of our company’s key missions that contribute to developing the workforce of tomorrow by building stronger, more resilient communities.”

Out of more than 300 applications, the Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas and Café Momentum were chosen from North Texas.

Linda and Mitch Hart give SMU a significant donation for new institute

The donation will be used to create The Linda and Mitch Hart Institute for Technology, Innovation, and Entrepreneurship at Southern Methodist University.

The new institute will utilize the resources of SMU’s Cox School of Business and the Lyle School of Engineering. The expertise, resources, and guidance of the schools will be used to develop technology prototypes and create business plans.

“SMU will play a major role in the formation of new enterprises and cross-disciplinary ventures thanks to the Harts’ generosity and vision,” R. Gerald Turner, president of SMU, said in a statement. “The Hart Institute will stand as a pioneering and lasting example to future SMU donors, reinforcing our role as an engine of regional economic development and job creation.”

SMU lists five key components to the donation, all geared toward promoting technology and entrepreneurship:

  • Business Plan Competition Award
  • Entrepreneur-in-Residence
  • Graduate Fellowships
  • Faculty Fellows
  • Technology Transfer Fund


“I was inspired to support this institute because I have seen first-hand how technology and innovation have been crucial to my own business endeavors, and they are critical elements needed in solving the world’s challenges,” Linda Hart said in a statement.

Commissioner of Education announces 15 schools selected for new math innovation zones

Commissioner Mike Morath announced the education organizations that have been chosen to launch a new round of Texas Education Agency Math Innovation Zones, and Dallas’ Inspired Vision Academy made the cut.

These zones are expected to implement high-quality blended learning programs in math, which are said to begin during the 2019-2020 school year.  

“With blended learning, teachers can diagnose prior student knowledge, create differentiated academic plans for each student and adjust those plans in real-time based on instant feedback,” Morath said in a statement. “By implementing this approach through a kindergarten through eighth-grade feeder pattern, our teachers are able to better prepare our students for Algebra I readiness in the eighth grade.”

These selected schools will be joining 14 other districts that were chosen for 2018-2019 school year. Inspire Vision Academy will be adding to the North Texas Math Innovation Zones that are already at Dallas ISD, Fort Worth’s Uplift Education, and Grand Prairie ISD.

Dallas’ Bobby Lyle to receive 90th Linz Award

Bobby Lyle—philanthropist, entrepreneur, and educator—will be honored on April 17.

The Linz Award is given by The Dallas Morning News, Communities Foundation of Texas, and The Dallas Foundation. This honor recognizes civic or humanitarian efforts that benefit Dallas.

For more than 50 years, Lyle has given back to the city—especially to his alma mater, SMU. That was a driving force in Lyle being unanimously chosen as this year’s Linz Award recipient.

“I’m deeply appreciative of the recognition,” Lyle told The Dallas Morning News. “I can tell you, there’s lots and lots of people who deserve this recognition.”

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