Assata Richards, Director

Assata Richards is a native of Houston, Texas and received much of her education in East Texas in the community known as “County Line”. After completing her Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Houston, she earned a Master’s and PhD from Pennsylvania State University in Sociology with a concentration on political and community participation, research methods and mass incarceration. After serving as a faculty member at University of Pittsburgh, Assata returned to her community of Third Ward in Houston, Texas, where she is living and working with Project Row Houses and serving as an Adjunct Professor at the University of Houston. As a scholar and community organizer, she is fulfilling her lifelong commitment to social change and justice. Assata also serves as the Vice Chair of the Board of Commissioners for Houston Housing Authority, as a appointee of Mayor Annise Parker.

 Sheila Heimbinder, Associate Director

Sheila Heimbinder grew up in Cleveland, Ohio, received her Bachelor of Arts degree in sociology from Barat College in Illinois, lived and taught in Takarazuka, Japan after school and has lived in Houston Texas since 1979.  Her interest has always been community. While parenting four children she has served in community organizations in schools, churches and the arts, including board positions at Project Row Houses, a non-profit arts organization in Houston’s historic Third Ward and Neighborhood Open Space Coalition, a nonprofit environmental community organization in New York.  She currently serves as a director on the St. Anne School Foundation student diversity initiative, a nonprofit that seeks to maintain the school’s student body as a reflection of the diversity of the city of Houston and on the Advisory Council for the Young Mothers Residential Program at Project Row Houses.