Harris County Youth Collective
Texas Organizing Project
Criminal Justice Reform Lead Organizer
September 2017-August 2018
• Identify, recruit, train, and supervise a cohort of criminal justice volunteer advocates to lead criminal justice reform advocacy efforts;
• Built a coalition of key organizations, longtime partners, and new entities and constituencies to advance policy objectives and participate in actions (e.g., educational and media events, hearings, rallies, constituent/legislator meetings, advocacy trainings, etc.)
• Galvanize the support of additional community organizations, public officials, law enforcement officers, faith leaders, business leaders and members of communities impacted by crime to advance reform;
• Develop, conduct and widely publicize campaign relevant trainings that promote grassroots leadership, organizing and coalition building;
• Prepare written materials (fliers, brochures, newsletters) to support grassroots efforts;
• Assist with electronic communication on blogs, social networking sites, and regular email communications with supporters;
• Won meaningful local policy reforms that decrease incarceration levels and reinforce the incentive for community action while growing political power necessary to win longer term, multi county and statewide reform.
• Responsible for creating policy priorities focused on bail reform, implementation of site and release, drug diversion, and police accountability. Policy reforms for both Harris County and the City of Houston.
• Implementing voter engagement campaign which includes voter registration, voter education, and Get Out the Vote (GOTV) efforts (including phone banking, text outreach, and block walking)
• Coordinating logistics of outreach events, including trainings, visibility events, speaker forums, and lobby day.
¡ADELANTE! U.S. Education Leadership Fund
A leadership development, non-profit organization dedicated to Hispanic college students. Mission is to inspire the best and brightest Latino students to graduate and lead through scholarships, internships, and leadership training.
The Peace Corps
Community Development Officer-UKRAINE Departure reset, political unrest. Organizational development, project design and management, serving as a mentor for business planning, marketing, financial management and product design; facilitating business skills workshops and business simulations and supporting communities to identify funding sources.
Environmental Health Specialist
Nov 2016-March 2017
City of San Antonio
•Plan the day-to-day and week-to-week activities with and for the outreach staff.
•Plan and hold daily meetings to review current shootings and assess what additional interventions are needed.
•Connect with additional resources from neighboring communities (e.g., gang mediation assistance) to get needed support, when necessary.
•Supervise staff of outreach workers, including daily communication with each staff.
•Outreach to the community to build strong relationships with youth, residents, businesses, and community groups.
•Coordinate interview panels to hire outreach staff.
•Advocate for youth through court testimonies, when necessary.
•Attend and participate in meetings with law enforcement, community outreach workers, prosecution, probation, and agencies providing opportunities, to discuss recent situations and coordinate efforts collectively to stop the violence.
•Facilitate violence prevention and life skills workshops in local schools, parks, and CBO's.
•Document detailed client case notes and overall coordination of all staff reports.
•Knowledge of the Cure Violence Prevention Model.
•Knowledge of various communities and social groups within the city.
•Knowledge of the techniques and methods involved in accessing intergroup relations.
•Knowledge of techniques used to resolve biases and intergroup tensions.
•Ability to effectively manage and lead a team working independently and as part of a team.
•Ability to establish mutually respectful partnerships with various community and ethnic groups.
•Ability to work in socially tense and volatile environments.
•Ability to exercise independent judgment.
•Ability to maintain confidentiality of information.
Juvenile justice reform, serving as liaison to the Texas Juvenile Justice Department and other national non-profit organizations in this discipline.
Public speaker and youth motivator that covers various topics such juvenile justice reform, restorative justice, gender equality, civil rights, racial disparities, PREA, and children’s rights. Received various awards, features in newspapers and televised programs for endeavors. Presenter and keynote speaker for seminars and conferences.
View at: http://dietercantu.weebly.com/portfolio.html
Received federal grants and funding from venture capitalists to mass manufacture TCF, textile clothing and footwear, and branding of intellectual property.
View at: http://www.positionofpower.org/media/photo-gallery/respect-women/ , http://dietercantu.weebly.com/merchandise.html
Drafted petitions and policy recommendations focused on unsafe & inhumane conditions of confinement, and lack of non-residential alternatives.
Responsible for developing and implementing a comprehensive public policy education plan on criminal justice and domestic violence.
Proven track record in policy writing and research, program evaluation, and strategic planning.
Extensive writing duties that includes speeches, press releases, grants and proposals, direct mail, and training curricula.
Community mediator, providing free-to-the-public resolution meetings and restorative dialogues to residents across South Texas.
Bexar County Pretrial Services Office
June 2016- October 2016
Pretrial Bond Screening & Assessment Officer
Identify, interview, and process individuals in the Central Magistrate Detention Center for Behavioral Health diversions program
Compiles interview list from daily Magistrate Screen to screen every individual with the Brief Jail Mental Health Screen
Screens and develops plans to divert individuals from C-mag to Behavioral Health Diversions Programs. Able to conduct Risk and Needs Analysis and conduct a variety of assessments
Interview individuals to obtain all pertinent personal, employment, financial, and social data required for various eligibility reports
Conduct background investigation of applicants utilizing computer to access Federal, State, and local criminal databases
Submit bond interviews and supporting information to appropriate judge or magistrate for review
Provide criminal courts with additional information or clarification and follows through as necessary
Compile data and sends out daily, weekly, and monthly reports tracking defendants who have been approved for release through Behavioral Health Diversion programs.
President Barack Obama
Task Force 21st Century Policing Committee
October 2015-July 2016
Committee charged with evaluating some of the recommendations made by President Barack Obama’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing.
Appointed by San Antonio Police Chief William McManus.
Brought forward new ideas and integrated perspectives that lead to improvements in SAPD operations and policy initiatives.
Introduced drafting policies to the committee in accordance with local business laws and regulations.
Studied the current economic conditions and project expected patterns in upcoming period.
Built relationships within the community and built partnerships with local nonprofit organizations.
Highly experienced in drafting, review and revision of policies, procedures and related documentation.
Profound knowledge of technical writing, financial systems, documentation process, process development, and risk management. Determined and recommended changes in policy review process and documentation format.
Disability Access Advisory Committee
The Disability Access Advisory Committee is comprised of 11 members appointed by the Mayor and each City
Councilmember for two-year terms.
Appointed by District 8 Councilman, Ron Nirenberg.
Handled an approximate $50,000 internal budget along with a $10,000 budget for other organizations.
Reviewed and improved budget excel sheet by including sub-categories and charts.
Reported every transaction made to the senate, executive board and advisor. Approved or disapproved all expenditures made.
Supervised members and held the Finance Committee every week to review expenditures.
University of Texas San Antonio
June 2015-December 2015
Department of Demography-Demographer
Provide training intended to increase the understanding of the size, distribution, composition and growth of human populations.
Trained student-staff to have an understanding of population structure and policy issues. Coached student research graduates and processed new student orientations.
Balanced clerical and human resources obligations that consisted of setting appointments, bookkeeping, budgeting travel costs and airfare expenses.
Designed, managed, and promoted three-day training conferences. Managed 32 nationwide training seminars and a five-day annual conference for university vice-presidents and business executives.
Responsible for managing contributions, scholarships, and research fellowships.
Invited by University President Ricardo Romo to develop new directions and programs for the University’s Office of Summer Educational Programs. Designed and successfully proposed a center for the study of creativity. Raised $2,800 for UTSA scholarships.
Raised $2,100 in 16 days in canvassing and advocacy on environmental, health and consumer issues.
Recognized by the University as “Student of the Year” for the Department of Public Policy-Fall 2015 Commencement.
City of Castle Hills Municipal Court
June 2015-August 2015
Make recommendations to the City Council to promote the public health, safety, morals, or general welfare and protect and preserve places and areas of historical, cultural, or architectural importance and significance.
Public Policy Undergraduate Internship.
Systematized city records and contractor codes, catalogued permits, applications, and restitution fees.
Orchestrated public hearings on zoning changes and discharge locations.
Prepared records, retention, and requests from Municipal Court.
Coordinated City Hall meetings and discuss agendas. Modified the process of filing official city paperwork and distributing city correspondence.
Corresponded with local governments, maintained communication with the city council and the mayor.
Gave notice of elections, record election proceedings, certified election results to the county auditor.
Collaborated with provincial and electoral stakeholders, law enforcement, judicial representatives, political parties; domestic and international non-governmental organizations (NGO), elected / non-elected officials, and members of the civil society in organizing meetings supporting the development and implementation of policy.
Heard & Smith, LLP
March 2011-October 2013
Law firm that specializes in the needs of the elderly and the disabled. Practice focuses upon representation in Social Security Disability, VA Disability Benefits, Estate Planning, Inheritance, Probate, Guardianship and Supplemental Security Income law.
Promoted in various departments throughout law firm: packet processing, case status, indexing.
Created an internship program for Public Administration and Criminal Justice majors, negotiated with executives and Human Resources department to be involved as active participants and create a scholarship.
Analyzed trends related to living conditions and developed relationships for acquiring new business.
Responsible for new account acquisition and financial advisement based on client’s medical records, level of income, and disabilities.
Established new systems for interviewing clients, as well as scheduling appointments with Social Security Administration.
Increased output and created a bookkeeping system that consisted of managing travel and airfare for attorneys.
Position of Power/Respect Women Inc.
January 2009-October 2014
Drafted and executed grant proposals, receiving over $10,000 in charitable donations as well as major gifts.
Launched powerful PR campaigns, designed educational courses, and developed strategic messages implementing de-colonial feminism methodologies and ideologies.
Directed public, community, business, and media relations. Experienced public speaker and presenter with many accolades to validate my impact within the professional field.
Strengthened the company’s analytical skills and the ability to prepare data collection and data quality instruments, summarize data, interpret results, and effectively present information to program staff, partners and donors.
Managed and monitored an annual budget, including cash flow projections, deficit budgets, and tax exemption obligations.
Developed and implemented advocacy strategies to change abusive laws, policies, and practices that directly present human rights.
Created cellphone apps for engagement, built a strong social media presence for company and created innovative marketing trends. Expertise in video editing, HTML coding, and Apple programs.
Developed comprehensive fundraising strategies for national and local organizations involving foundation grants, corporate contributions, and individual donor programs. Responsible for grant writing and all major gift donations.
Developed global partnerships and alliances to support the mission with similar organizations, with the mission of poverty reduction and improvements in living conditions for single mothers and battered women.
“Meet Dieter Cantu” in UTSA College of Public Policy. Michelle Skidmore, 2014.
“Chivalry Never Goes out of Style” in San Marcos Daily Record. Candice Brusuelas, 2014.
“UTSA student speaks out about ‘Respect Women’ campaign” in News 4. Chris Hoffman, 2014.
“SA college guy spreads message of respecting women” in Kens 5. Staff Reports 2014.
“UTSA student talks campus carry” in KSAT 12. Courtney Friedman, 2015.
“The Peace Makers” in Windcrest Local Newspaper. Eric Moreno, 2015.
“Ex UTSA football player taking on new challenge” in Kens 5. David Flores, 2015.
“Place changing uniting the east side one story at a time” in Rivard Report. Camille Garcia, 2016.
“Standing up for Women: Young Man From Broken Home on Mission to Help Others” in San Marcos Daily Record. Lisa Steindorf, 2016.
Skills & Expertise
• Grant writing
• Poverty Reduction
• Consultative Services
• Expertise Office Skills
• Charitable Gift Planning
• Microsoft Office Certifications
• Nonprofit Funding
• Public Speaking and Professional Presentations
• Political Campaigns
• Disaster Relief
• Brand Development
• Charity Governance
• Nonprofit Board Development
• Professional Presentations
• Federal Grants
• Scholarly Research
Honors and Awards