About Councilmember Navarro

I serve as the Council Vice-President and the Montgomery County Councilmember representing District 4. I am the chair of the Government Operations and Fiscal Policy Committee and also serve on the Health and Human Services Committee.

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May 4, 2010

Considering Diverse Cultures – and How to Reach Them – at Next ReThink Montgomery Speaker Series



For immediate release:

May 3, 2010

For more information, contact:

Valerie Berton

Communications Manager

Montgomery County Planning Department

(301) 495-4600

Considering Diverse Cultures – and How to Reach Them – at Next ReThink Montgomery Speaker Series

SILVER SPRING, MD – Montgomery County is home to many diverse cultures. This week, the Planning Department’s Rethink Montgomery http://www.montgomeryplanning.org/rethink> Speaker Series will explore how members of cultural communities communicate and connect – both outside and within their communities.

On Thursday, Reemberto Rodriguez, director of the Silver Spring Regional Services Center, Megan Moriarty of IMPACT Silver Spring, Rassa Davoodpour, a leader in the Persian community, and Tebabu Assefa, an Ethiopian community leader and activist, will participate in a panel discussion on the communication norms within groups bound by a common culture.

At the fifth discussion of the ReThink Montgomery series, panelists will be asked to reflect about how people within their cultural circle think about community connections and county planning.

In his county-appointed position at the regional services center, Rodriguez oversees policy development and the delivery of public services for the Silver Spring area. Previously, he worked as a training manager for a community building program and coordinated curriculum for the Community Leadership Institutes, a group of residents, volunteers, and partners of NeighborWorks Network member organizations. His background includes community organizing, leadership development, civic participation, community design, urban planning, and teaching at the graduate level.

Moriarty of IMPACT leads a team of staff, residents and community partners responsible for building a network in the Wheaton area and supporting residents along a continuum of leadership development and community action. Prior to her job with IMPACT, she worked for the Montgomery County Community Foundation and at the Inter-American Foundation managing grassroots development projects in Central America.

Davoodpour is a manager with the Office of Special Projects in the county’s Department of General Services who focuses on moving and expanding existing uses to different sites from a macro perspective to provide long-term solutions for public facility needs.

Actively involved in Persian communities since her arrival in the U.S. in 1979, Davoodpour served on the board for the Iran Cultural and Educational Center, which preserves and promotes Iranian culture.

Ethiopian native Tebabu Assefa works in the fine arts and communication, including development of a marketing strategy to bridge 130,000 small coffee growers of Ethiopia, organized under a cooperative union, with the global fair trade market. He also supports enterprise in the local African-American and Caribbean markets with projects such as Africa Unbound, the Ethiopian Cultural Museum of Chicago, and Greener Ethiopia, a community based tree planting program. In 2008, Assefa was awarded the community activist award by the Takoma Foundation, where he now serves as a board member and is Governor O’Malley appointee to the Governor's Commission on African Affairs.

Continuing education credits (AICP certification maintenance credits) are pending for planning professionals. Learn more at www.montgomeryplanning.org/rethink


Reemberto Rodriguez, director, Silver Spring Regional Services Center

Megan Moriarty, community organizer, IMPACT Silver Spring

Rassa Davoodpour, a leader in the Iranian community

Tebabu Assefa, an Ethiopian community leader and activist


ReThink Montgomery Speaker Series – Culture


7:30 p.m. Thursday, May 6


Park and Planning Headquarters auditorium

8787 Georgia Ave., Silver Spring


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