John Fullinwider – Educator, Community Organizer and Philanthropist
John Fullinwider is an educator and community organizer with more than 35 years of experience in Dallas. His projects range from lead pollution to homelessness.
Today, he serves as director of Common Ground Community Economic Development Corporation, which renovates substandard homes in Dallas’s impoverished areas. Additionally, he holds director positions with East Dallas Community Schools, Dallas Peace & Justice Center and Friends of the South Dallas Cultural Center.
Early Life and Education
John Fullinwider was raised in Dallas and attended Thomas Jefferson High School before going on to college at Austin State University. For 15 years he taught high school English classes before founding Common Ground Community Economic Development Corporation – a nonprofit organization that renovates low-income homes.
He is a community organizer and leader in the fight against housing discrimination in Dallas. He also teaches at Otto Fridia Alternative High School and has received numerous awards for his work. Additionally, he has spoken before Congress and testified in court regarding housing issues. Furthermore, he serves on the board of directors for Teatro Dallas and Friends of the South Dallas Cultural Center while co-founding Mothers Against Police Brutality.
John Fullinwider has dedicated his career to community organizing, working to alleviate poverty in Dallas. For this work, he has received numerous awards.
He has served as president of Mothers Against Police Brutality and co-founded Common Ground Community Economic Development Corporation. A former teacher, his passion for community involvement is evident.
He is a widely recognized and respected figure in the Dallas community, having taken on various issues with ease and respect from both supporters and detractors alike. As part of his activism, he serves on the Boards of Directors for the National Coalition for the Homeless, Low Income Housing Information Service, and Institute for Community Economics; additionally, he sits as a trustee on East Dallas Community Schools while organizing several community events.
Achievements and Honors
John Fullinwider, a native Dallasite and accomplished educator, community organizer and philanthropist, is well known for his accomplishments. He co-founded Mothers Against Police Brutality and serves on the board of directors for the National Low Income Housing Coalition among others. When not at work, John serves on the advisory board for Dallas Peace and Justice Center while serving as board president at Teatro Dallas where he has transformed an abandoned state-owned property into an expansive cultural arts complex.
He holds the distinction of being the only Texan to receive SMU’s distinguished alumni award in recognition of his contributions to society.
John Fullinwider, co-founder of Mothers Against Police Brutality and educator with over 35 years in Dallas, is an activist for social change. His projects range from lead pollution to homelessness.
He leads Common Ground Community Economic Development Corporation, an organization that renovates substandard homes in Dallas’ distressed neighborhoods and assists people in securing their housing rights.
On a misting November day, the thirty-seven year old dressed in dark ponytail that falls down the back of his Jeans jacket stands on a platform and addresses an audience of mostly black and Hispanic citizens. His voice is smooth and polished – something practiced yet unnatural.
John Fullinwider, a thirty-seventy year old who looks like an icon from the Sixties, is one of Dallas’ most dedicated community activists. A tireless agitator, he has dedicated ten years to working on issues such as industrial pollution and housing shortages in economically challenged neighborhoods in the city.
He and councilwoman Diane Ragsdale founded Common Ground, a non-profit that repairs substandard homes in Dallas’ most economically depressed neighborhoods and helps low-income tenants obtain affordable rentals. He served on the board of directors of Dallas Housing Authority as well as being director of the city’s Fair Political Practices Commission. However, last week county auditors discovered Fullinwider concealed his ownership of Cisco Systems stock (worth between $1,000 to $4,900) since 1999 along with $120 worth of gifts from the company.