The First Black Woman to Head Community Relations at Dallas Police Department is Joining Dallas Habitat for Humanity

Joli Robinson—the former director of Community Affairs and Youth Outreach for the Dallas Police Department and current co-chair of Dallas Truth, Racial Healing, and Transformation—is bringing her breadth of experience to Dallas Habitat as its new VP of Government Affairs and Public Policy.

Dallas Area Habitat for Humanity is bringing on a familiar face in the local law enforcement community to serve as its new vice president of Government Affairs and Public Policy: Joli Robinson.

At Dallas Habitat, Robinson will serve as a liaison and spokesperson for the community. It’s a role she’s well equipped for, considering she’s joining the nonprofit after serving as the director of Community Affairs and Youth Outreach at the Dallas Police Department for around eight years.

By those who know her, Robinson has been lauded as a vocal change maker for racial equity via her volunteer and professional work. Per a statement, she was the first Black woman to head community relations at DPD, despite the office being created in the late 1980s to address a history of poor relationships between the Dallas police and communities of color.

Within the Office of Community Affairs, Robinson is credited with leading a 20-member team in implementing and supporting outreach efforts and programs. Those include LGBTQ+ liaison initiatives; UNIDOS, the Latino-Hispanic program; and Asian-American and African-American outreach teams. 

She is also the current co-chair of Dallas Truth, Racial Healing, and Transformation, a community-driven organization that aims to “create a radically inclusive city by addressing race and racism through narrative change, relationship building, and equitable policies and practices.”

To Robinson, that’s largely why the opportunity to lead advocacy and policy at Dallas Habitat felt like a natural next step.

“Through my work in the community, I know firsthand that housing equity and affordability is one of the biggest factors in reducing poverty and providing safe communities for all residents,” she said in a statement. “Working with Dallas Habitat will allow me to build upon my prior work and I’m looking forward to this meaningful opportunity.”

In her new role, Robinson will oversee public policy while honing in on affordable housing, working within the communities Habitat serves, and advocacy efforts across the organization.

Her work expands on Dallas Habitat’s former VP of Government Affairs and Public Policy, Latosha Herron-Bruff.

We recently told you about Herron-Bruff accepting a first-of-its-kind role at the Dallas Regional Chamber as its senior vice president for Community Engagement.

“Joli is the right leader for this role given her immense policy experience working with the Dallas Police Department and her active commitment to creating a more diverse and equitable Dallas through her work with Dallas Truth, Racial Healing, and Transformation,” Dallas Habitat CEO Dave Crawford said in a statement. “Joli has a track record of being bold, honest, and remaining true to her values, which makes her an exceptional addition at Dallas Habitat.”

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