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We Can’t Afford Florida: People-Centered Housing Solutions


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DeAndre Martin
Community Development Director, NE OKC Renaissance / PlaceKeepers

DeAndre Martin was born and raised in Northeast Oklahoma City. He received his Bachelor’s Degree in Human Relations from the University of Oklahoma in 2017. He has professional experience working with The University of Oklahoma, Oklahoma House of Representatives, Oklahoma Senate, and Gardner Tanenbaum. He currently serves as the Community Development Director for NE OKC Renaissance and CEO of Monsta Investment Group and XXII (22) East Community Development. In 2021, XXII (22) East Community Development and NE OKC Renaissance created PlaceKeepers. PlaceKeepers is a real estate development and small business training program for NE Oklahoma City residents and stakeholders. It is designed to increase community led real estate development and homeownership at levels that offset the displacement caused by gentrification. He is also a founding partner of the OKC Minority Founders Accelerator which launched in 2023. DeAndre has a passion to support entrepreneurs and economic growth in underserved communities.

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Darnell L. Johnson
Social justice organizer, activist, and Regional Coordinator, Homes For All South

Darnell brings years of personal and professional knowledge in base building, community leadership development, political education, and community building. Darnell's work has been focused on fighting the root causes of gentrification and displacement via the lens of stable communities, economic justice, and good jobs, democratic participation, public good, and healthy environments. He works tirelessly to build power for long-term transformative change in our neighborhood, city, state, and region. Through his tenure in Homes For All Darnell led partners using a people's assembly model as an Event, a Process, and an Institution. Darnell joined RTTC’s staff in 2014 after years of community and labor organizing focusing on the intersections of race, class, gender, and oppression. Darnell is a founding member of the African American Theatre Company at the University of Louisville and has been seen on stage with Actors Theatre of Louisville, the Kentucky Opera, and the Juneteenth Legacy Theatre.

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David Lidz
CEO/Founder, StreetWell / WaterBottle Cooperative

David Lidz is a seasoned real estate investor, developer, and construction executive who has climbed from the bottoms of alcoholism to spearheading community revitalization through co-operative enterprise and impact investment.

Just 3 years sober in 2005, David founded a small contracting enterprise which hires individuals recovering from addiction and incarceration to work on vacant and distressed housing, and which ultimately became Appalachian Field Services.

In 2015, David founded Ladders-To-Leaders, a Hagerstown, Maryland based non profit providing transitional housing and peer support services to individuals recovering from alcoholism and addiction.

In 2018, David envisioned the Impact Real Estate Portfolio (IREP). This innovative model acquires and renovates distressed properties in historically oppressed Baltimore neighborhoods, and redistributes equity to, instead of pushing out, rightful community stakeholders, such as workers, tenants and neighborhood activists and businesses. Heading into 2024, David has raised $5.1MM for the pilot IREP, Rising Housing, a co-operative which now holds 20 properties, comprising 30 leasable units & providing homes primarily to single mothers of color. David has founded a new co-op consultancy called StreetWell, which is bringing a tech platform, a trust model, and all of the learnings of the early IREP years to other neighborhoods and cities.

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Destini Smith | she/her (Moderator)
Director of Popular Education and Grassroots Leadership, Catalyst Miami

Destini has worked with several non-profit organizations for redemptive justice. From serving as founding staff and fitness coach with Noble Clay Fitness to advocating for fair housing recommendations in Atlanta, Destini has a passion for cultivating thriving Black communities. Additionally, Destini serves on the board of SMASH, a housing justice organization, community land trust, and cooperative. Destini has a passion for empowering youth leaders, championing Black women, and igniting faith leaders to pursue equity and justice. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Emory University and a Master of Education in Community Building and Social Change from the University of Miami.