Members Named To Sandy Springs Diversity, Inclusion Task Force
The Diversity and Inclusion Task Force will assist the city council in its efforts to promote inclusivity in Sandy Springs.
SANDY SPRINGS, GA — Reinforcing the city’s commitment to being an inclusive city, Sandy Springs Mayor Rusty Paul named members to the Sandy Springs Diversity and Inclusion Task Force during the Feb. 2 meeting of the Sandy Springs City Council. The task force will assist the city council in its efforts to promote inclusivity in Sandy Springs.
“To create a city where all feel welcomed, and there is a strong sense of belonging is an effort that must be shared community-wide,” Paul said. “This task force represents the diversity of our city and will provide the city council with recommendations to foster an environment that respects and accepts all members of our community.”
Jim Bostic, Jr, Managing Director of HEP and Associates, is the task force chairman. Bostic formerly worked with Georgia-Pacific Corporation. He is active within the metro area, serving on several boards, including KIPP: Metro Atlanta Schools, Clemson University, Tuskegee University, and Wofford College. He previously served on the Georgia State Board of Education and as a member of the president’s commission on White House Fellowship.
Desmond X. Curry: Curry is a professional specializing in legal research, currently serving as a billing specialist with Rubin Lublin. He majored in business administration at Auburn University.
Raquel Gonzalez: Gonzalez serves as city clerk for the City of Sandy Springs. Gonzalez was born in Yokosuka, Japan, also living in Panama City, Panama, and various military communities throughout the U.S. She is a member of Leadership Sandy Springs and the Riverwood International Charter School PTSA. Gonzalez earned her bachelor’s degree in political science from Spellman College.
Rabbi Joshua Heller: Heller has served as rabbi of Congregation B’nai Torah since July 2004. He has served as president of the Atlanta Rabbinical Association and has served on the Jewish Federation of Greater Atlanta and Jewish Family and Career Services boards. During the period after 9/11, Heller served as the rabbi of the Downtown Synagogue, one of the synagogues closest to the site of the World Trade Center. Heller is a graduate of Harvard University with a degree in computer science. He was ordained at the Jewish Theological Seminary.
Nicole Morris: Morris is a professor at Emory University School of Law. Prior to Emory, Morris was a faculty member of the University of Warsaw, Center for American Legal Studies, in Warsaw, Poland. She was awarded “Professor of the Year” by the Emory Black Law Students Association in 2018. Morris earned a B.S. in chemical engineering from Northwestern University, an M.S. in chemistry from the University of Michigan, and her J.D. from the University of Minnesota Law School.
Reverend Dr. Bill Murray: Murray is Rector of Holy Innocents’ Episcopal Church. A native of Memphis, Tennessee, Murray received B.A. degrees in international economics and English literature from the University of Memphis. He attended Virginia Theological Seminary in Alexandria, Virginia, receiving his Master of Divinity degree, and going on to serve as the Rector at St. Elisabeth’s Episcopal Church in Bartlett, Tennessee. Murray later completed his Doctor of Ministry at Sewanee, The University of the South.
Salvador (Sal) Ortega: Ortega is currently assigned to the Community Affairs Division as the Public Information Officer for the Sandy Springs Police Department. Ortega was born in Baja, California, a northern state in Mexico, located just south of California. He later lived on a chicken ranch in Campo, California, and his family moved to Athens, Georgia, in 2000 after his parents began working in the poultry industry in Georgia. Ortega joined Sandy Springs Police in 2009 and has more than 14 years of law enforcement experience. He is the first in his family to attend college, graduating from Armstrong Atlantic University (now known as Georgia Southern). Ortega he is scheduled to graduate in May from the University of North Georgia with a criminal justice degree.
Jose Osorio: Osorio is the assistant principal at Lake Forest Elementary School. Osorio previously served a similar role at Dresden Elementary School in Chamblee, Georgia, and has served as an ESOL educator at several elementary and middle schools in Georgia. He is a founding board member of LAPPS (Latino Association for Parents of Public Schools) non-profit organization. Osorio earned a B.S. in elementary education from Alabama A & M University. He earned his M.A. in urban teacher leadership and a certificate in educational leadership from Georgia State University.
Olivia Rocamora: Rocamora is the Spanish Department Chair and Spanish Immersion Program Coordinator at The Weber School. She also teaches English and Spanish at the high school. Rocamora was selected as a STAR Teacher in 2020 and was awarded the Angel Award in 2018 for establishing a community partnership between The Weber School and Los Ninos Primero. She joined the Los Ninos Primero board in 2018. She is currently writing a book on the history of her family’s immigration from Spain to Cuba and from Cuba to the United States. Rocamora earned a double major in English and Spanish from Oglethorpe University and a Master of Arts in secondary education from Agnes Scott College.
Clarissa Sparks, MSM: Sparks is the founder and brand strategist for Sparks + Company, a branding agency that empowers women to strengthen their own brand architectures. She also serves as an instructor for the Bank of America Institute for Women’s Entrepreneurship through Cornell University’s eCornell program. Previously, Sparks served as a clinical instructor for hospitals in the metro Atlanta area, and throughout the U.S. Sparks earned a B.S. in marketing from Albany State University and her M.S. in management from Troy University. Sparks earned an A.A. in digital design from The Art Institute of Atlanta and her Ed.D. in higher education leadership from Clark Atlanta University.
Task force members must be residents of Sandy Springs or work within the city limits. Each will serve a two-year term. Meetings will be posted on the city’s calendar, along with a meeting agenda, in following the Open Public Meetings Act.
Paul announced the Diversity and Inclusion Task Force’s formation last fall, following the city’s Civic Dinners on Inclusion and Belonging.
For more information about the City of Sandy Springs, visit online, or call the Citizen Response Center at 770-730-5600.