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Urban Camp Festival (Fall 2018)

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Imagine the gathering of all of your friends at the livest house party of all time… and then add tents, a raging river waiting for you all to tame it, laser tag, different tastes from all over the country, games that might have your children look at you differently, and lastly an open bar that’ll help you forget your antics of the evening.  Once your vision is realized, you will now be walking amongst Urban Camp Weekend, the best camping event in the world, hosted at Mount Breeze of New Braunfels, TX!

Urban Camp Weekend is the largest camping trip in the country, hosted by Urban Camp Weekend and Urban Events Global!  This camp enthralls a large community of eager travelers from all across the country to indulge in a highly entertaining activities, ranging from yoga, to river rafting, during the scheduled weekend.  Intertwined during the duration of the event are mixers for professionals eager to network while still having their fun.  This event was established by Kevin Knight, who had the vision to develop unique and non-traditional experience that allows participants to relax and make lasting connections all while in a territory never explored!

I never knew that drinks, tents, and laser tag could fit together so well.

Upon arriving, we received a warm greeting from campers all across the campsite.  All were participating in games, with laughs bellowing across the site, and immediately incorporated us into the fun!  The atmosphere of the site put people at ease, allowing them to commune with people they had never prior to that day.  The DJ curated songs from all decades, playing them in a way that younger and mature audiences could equally enjoy.  I never knew that drinks, tents, and laser tag could fit together so well.  Overall, the experience was beautifully organized, and the participants had an awesome time.  We cannot wait until next year.

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Black Worship VIII Show Recording

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Air Conditioning on the Way for Vulnerable Residents

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A needed step was taken today to improve the dignity and quality of life of some of San Antonio’s most vulnerable residents.

The City Council’s Comprehensive Plan Committee recently approved a funding recommendation to install air conditioning in over 2,500 public housing units on San Antonio Housing Authority (SAHA) properties that don’t have them.

“Some of these SAHA housing units were built in the 1930s,” said District 5 City Councilwoman Shirley Gonzales, chair of the Comprehensive Plan Committee. “Two thousand, five hundred families in our city including children and the elderly have lived through scorching summers without air conditioning for generations because their housing is old – that needs to change.”

The recommendation, which is pending the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s regulatory approval and will be sent to the full City Council for final approval, is to allocate $500,000 in CDBG funds that will be leveraged with private and non-profit funding to purchase and install air conditioning units at 22 SAHA facilities. The City’s CDBG funds will be matched by SAHA in the same amount of $500,000.

SAHA will work on a short deadline in order to install the air conditioners before the summer. If approved by Council, purchasing will begin in March and April with installation finished by the summer months.

According to San Antonio Housing Authority CEO David Nisivoccia, one-third of the residents of the public housing units that need air conditioning are elderly and disabled. Those units will be prioritized, followed by families with children.

State Representative Diego Bernal attended the Committee meeting to thank the members for their approval and commented that all concerned were racing against the summer to get the project going.

“This will help the most vulnerable in our City,” Councilwoman Gonzales said. “Public housing should not reflect a community’s poverty.”

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Sharing Stories of Racial Discrimination

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San Antonio residents of color are invited to share personal stories of racial discrimination for the third annual HBCU Oral History Project, hosted at St. Philip’s College Feb. 15-17, from 9 AM to 5 PM in the Sutton Learning Center, 1801 Martin Luther King Dr.

The HBCU Truth & Reconciliation Oral History Project is an endeavor that uses the power of spoken and documented words to heal and create spiritual and social change. These stories and, the related research, will be used to inform policy changes within the political environment and spiritual changes from a grassroots and common person’s perspective.

Under the direction of Rev. Steve Miller, the Project’s founder, digitized oral history accounts will be gathered by the HBCU academy which includes; Huston-Tillotson University, Jarvis Christian College and Southwestern Christian College. Participating partner universities include, Austin Presbyterian, Baylor University and TCU.

Miller’s work has resulted in federal civil rights investigations by the Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights and the United States Department of Justice’s Community Services Division, primarily, within the Texas educational system. His work has brought increased equity to hiring processes, enlarged job opportunities, and fostered greater understanding of institutional partiality through education.

Miller has coordinated and won legal actions at the federal court level and has been the stimulus of rewrites of discipline policies, whose ends resulted in fewer minorities being exposed to and caught in the educational system’s disciplinary apparatus, which correlates highly with elevated juvenile justice and mass incarceration rates.

For more information, contact St. Philip’s Director of Student Success Dr. Angela McPherson Williams at (210) 486-2090, awilliams284@alamo.edu or Project Founder and Director Rev. Steve Miller at (713) 557-6520 – (512) 404-4800, stevemiller@usclo.com

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