Dallas Peace Center Staff
Kelli Seals-Obazee serves as the Executive Director at the Dallas Peace Center. She has worked with the Dallas Peace Center on various community awareness intiatives and direct actions since 2001. In 2009 Kelli served as a Board Member of the Dallas Peace Center and Chair of the Communication and Visibility Team.
In addition, Kelli has had the privilege of serving as a Board Member for the League of Women Voters, Making Connections Inc., creating and serving as Chair of the Economic Empowerment Committee at the Potters House and starting her own non-profit organization called Innovative Social Solutions Inc. One of the goals of Innovative Social Solutions Inc. is to empower today's youth through creative hands on educational programming. A popular program of ISSI has been Teen Hype Talk Show – a conscientious discussion of critical issues by our future leaders.
Concerned about the post 911 growing hostilities toward the Muslim community Kelli reached out to partner with Hadi Jawad and served as the Executive Producer of American Muslim Voices. Kelli is the Executive Producer for her husband's show Point Blank with Tunde Obazee and supports Code Red Reggae Band with marketing. Kelli Obazee believes that her first and most important ministry is in her home. Kelli is a proud mother of six children and four amazing grand-children. Some of Kelli's other media ventures included: Promotions Manager for Rational Radio 1360 AM and later Managing a popular consumer, savings program called The Radio Shopping Show.
Kelli has enjoyed a very successful 12 year career as a III Level WAN Engineer, but make no mistake about it Kelli's passion is people, and is grateful and humbled to render to the call of full-time service for the betterment of humanity, Peace!
DPC Board of Directors
John Fullinwider - President
John Fullinwider has been a part of he Dallas peace and justice community for decades as a community organizer, active on issues related to poverty, housing, education, city services, peace and justice. In addition to the DPC, he works closely with East Dallas Community Schools, Teatro Dallas, South Dallas Cultural Center, and Texas Tenants Union.
Eric O. Reece – Vice President
Eric O. Reece, is an artist, educator and cultural organizer who has been organizing around a variety of social justice issues for more than 15 years. He currently serves as a community development specialist at UT Southwestern. He has served as Executive Director of the Arkansas Equality Network, founding board member of CAR- Center for Artistic Revolution, and advisory board of Lucie's Place-Arkansas' first LGBTQ youth homeless shelter. Eric holds a BSE from University of Central Arkansas, and MSW from University of Arkansas.
Dr. Qaisar Abbas - Secretary
Dr. Qaisar Abbas is Assistant Dean of Research and Grants at UNT. With a Ph. D. in Mass Communication from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and Master’s from Iowa State University, he has a long standing career as a university professor, administrator, researcher, grant writer and freelance journalist. He has provided leadership in both student affairs and academic programs in institutions of higher education in the United States.
He has published articles, book chapters and columns on media, literature and South Asian politics. He regularly contributes articles and columns on politics, media issues and literature to newspapers and online journals. Currently he is on the Editorial Boards of Pakistaniaat and Viewpoint journals.
He has written several major grants for federal, state and private organizations including TRIO and international research and programmatic grants. He has been reviewing federal, state and foundation grants and has evaluated international institutions of higher education and media organizations as a consultant. As Chair of the 1st South Asia Peace Conference in November 2011 he led a major international peace initiative at University of North Texas supported by internal grants.
Before coming to the U.S. he worked for Pakistan TV as News Producer and Information Officer to the Education Minister, Government of Punjab. He is also a poet and writer in his native language Urdu with a published anthology of his poetry “Keep Holing the Sun.”
Sara Mokuria - Treasurer
Sara Mokuria is a multi-racial educator, activist and mother. Born and raised in Dallas, Texas, she was educated at Booker T. Washington High School for the Visual and Performing Arts in Dallas, Eugene Lang College- New School University in New York City, and Simmons College in Boston.
She has a BA in liberal arts, MA in Gender and Cultural Studies, MAT in Teaching High School History and is certified to teach high school in Texas and Massachusetts. She works on issues related to racial and economic justice, freeing all political prisoners, ending the prison industrial complex, women's rights, the arts and poor people's access to education.
Recently she has been involved in the Committee for Justice for Hector Rivas, organizing graduate students against racism at Simmons College, the May Day Coalition, Happy Birthday Assata Campaign, Mothers Against Teen Violence, Fhari Arts Institute and parent, student and teachers rights in Dallas. Sara now works at the Institute for Urban Policy Research at UTD as a Senior Research Associate.
Rev. Holsey Hickman – Ex-Officio
Reverend Hickman is married to Mae and they have five children.
Rev. Diane Baker
One of Diane’s earliest mentors was 1999 Peacemaker of the Year Rev. Frank Mabee, whom she met in college in 1964. She was influenced by the way Mabee stalwartly stood up to threats and scare tactics as he advanced the Civil Rights movement in Oklahoma. In 1966, Baker and her brother traveled to California to work beside members of what would soon be the United Farm Workers of America. Several years later, when she was working with a church in Claremont, Calif., she took the youth group to La Paz, a center that Cesar Chavez had developed to minister to the healthcare needs of UFW members. While they were there, Chavez showed up and sat with the junior high students talking to them at length and listening to them intently. Baker has shown the same interest and joy in interacting with children, both at home and in other countries. While on a Pastors for Peace journey to Chiapas, she was such a favorite among the local children that they would wake her up saying, “Princesa Diana, juegue con nosotros!” (Princess Diana, play with us!)
Baker has committed civil disobedience in Oklahoma, Texas and Washington D.C. against the illegal detonations and use of depleted uranium in Vieques, Puerto Rico. In 2005 she was arrested twice in D.C. protesting the Iraq War and the Military Commissions Act. Although Baker will unhesitatingly work outside “the system,” she also does serious work using accepted avenues of influence. She has been an activist and organizer with RESULTS since 1985, working to influence legislation through letters, phones calls and visits to congressional representatives. Her occupation is that of a hospice chaplain, providing spiritual and physical comfort as people come to the end of life. She has counseled survivors of the Oklahoma City bombing, the first Post Office massacre and hurricanes Katrina and Rita.
Baker said that she is greatly aided by the souls and spirits of peacemakers she has met and worked with – she has traveled to Cuba with Rev. Lucius Walker and attended the School of the Americas protests originated by Fr. Roy Bourgeois – and those who work for peace and justice in Dallas are greatly aided by the soul and spirit of Diane Baker. In 2006 she was recognized as the Peacemaker of the Year by the Dallas Peace Center.
Mavis Belisle has been a social justice activist for more than four decades, primarily in antiwar and antinuclear activities. She is a cofounder of opposition organizations to the Comanche Peak nuclear power plant, and spent 18 years as director of the Peace Farm, adjacent to the Pantex nuclear weapons assembly plant. She has been a member of the regional advisory board for AFSC and national boards of War Resisters League and the former Mobilization for Survival. She is currently a board member of the Alliance for Nuclear Accountability
Aftab Siddiqui has been actively involved with Dallas Peace Center for the last 10 years. He is the Co-Chair of Save Pakistan Committee that is working to stop the drone attacks in Pakistan. He is Vice Chair of Muslim Community Center for Human Services – a nonprofit that provides charitable health and social services. He volunteers with United Way of Tarrant County and sits in the Cabinet and Health Impact Council. He is a Member Executive Committee of Tarrant County Democratic Party. He played a key role in organizing Ballot Box Barbecue (2002) and Civil Rights Conferences (2003, 2004, and 2005); is currently President Elect, Muslim Democratic Caucus of Texas.
Aftab works at American Airlines and has been deeply involved with the Diversity Initiative at work. Before migrating to US, Aftab worked in production management and taught as Assistant Professor at Institute of Business Administration, University of Karachi. He has done his BS (Elect), MBA, and MPA (UT Arlington). He is married to Yasmin and has two sons – Saad Siddiqui and Asif Siddiqui.
Zara Tariq moved to the United States at the age of 9 from Karachi, Pakistan. Growing up, she experienced first-hand the results of ignorance and lack of Peace within her community. Early on, she decided to start working towards the dialogue needed to build a more aware community around her. Zara started out with the Dallas Peace Center as an Intern from the University of North Texas. After completing her Internship, she applied for a job. After working at the Dallas Peace Center for 3 years, she decided to continue her work towards Peace by joining the Board of Directors.
Len (Leonard) Ellis has been a member of the Dallas Peace Center for twelve years and a board member since 2003. He has served as Secretary, Vice-president, co-chair of the Peacemaker Awards Dinner, and President. He writes a monthly column titled "Peace Begins With Me."
Len is founder and co-director of Peace and Justice Center-Arlington. He is an active member of Veterans For Peace, and has been nominated and accepted as an Ambassador For Peace by the International Federation for World Peace. Len has also been recognized and honored by the Foundation For Pluralism for his efforts in promoting peace.
He served on the Board of Trustees at Unity Church of Arlington from 2000-2005, as president for nearly 3 years. He returned to the UCA board in 2007 and is currently president. He also serves on the board of Peacemakers Incorporated.
After the 9-11 tragedy, Len traveled to New York City, collected and brought back ashes from the World Trade Center to create the first physical memorial in Texas.
Len currently resides in the Dallas, TX area, and has also lived in California, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, New York, as well as Ethiopia, Cyprus, Japan, Okinawa, Thailand, and served in the military in VietNam.
Len is employed full time as an electrical engineer at Texas Instruments, providing design and applications support to customers.