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A Focus to Help Women Across the City

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The San Antonio City Council recently approved a resolution supporting women’s safety, health, and economic opportunity throughout the city.

“The issue of women’s equity has penetrated our national consciousness. More than ever, it is imperative for San Antonio’s City Council to demonstrate its support for the women of our community,” said District 3 Councilwoman Rebecca Viagran. “Women continue to make tremendous impacts across countless genres and industries, so it is time to take appropriate action to recognize and support these achievements.”

In the city, more than 51 percent of the total population of 1,144,646 are women. This resolution identifies three policy priorities to drive equitable outcomes for women through existing city services: eliminate domestic violence and sexual assault, promote positive women’s health outcomes, and address inequitable access to economic and business opportunities.

Eliminating Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault:

Domestic violence disproportionally impacts women in our community. In recent years the number of domestic violence cases has increased and the City of San Antonio is committed to reducing domestic violence and sexual assault cases. In May 2018, a presentation showing a map of gaps where there is a high concentration of risk for domestic violence and low concentration of services. Work continues in this area to incorporate services provided by non-profit and other organizations and evaluate the impact of prevention and intervention services with the goal of reducing domestic violence and sexual assault cases.

Positive Women’s Health Outcomes:

San Antonio’s teen birth rate and repeat teen births lag behind the national average. To address teen pregnancy, the city of San Antonio Health Department convenes the San Antonio Teen Pregnancy Prevention Collaborative, a collective impact effort focused on reducing the teen pregnancy rate. San Antonio has made significant progress in this area by reducing the teen birth rate in Bexar County by 53 percent since 2006, but it still remains 49 percent higher than the national rate for ages 15 to 19. Maternal and child health progress has stalled in recent years in San Antonio. To address this concern, the Health Department has made this a key priority in its strategic plan.

Economic and Business Opportunities for Women:

On average, San Antonio women earn less money, own fewer businesses, and have less access to capital than their male counterparts. To address these challenges, the city has increased the number of successful female entrepreneurs and highly skilled females in the workforce through city programs and investments such as the Small Business Economic Development Advocacy Program, Launch SA and Project Quest. Through the SBEDA program alone, city contract dollars paid to local women-owned businesses have increased from 3 percent in 2011 to 17 percent in 2017.

Equity Program:

An equity impact assessment tool is being used to ensure city services, programs, and policies are equitable while considering the different needs and priorities of our community. As an example, the tool was used on city boards and commissions to enhance women and minority participation. In 2019, a train-the-trainer program will begin to normalize, organize, and operationalize equity across all city departments.

Boards and Commissions:

An Equity Impact Assessment, completed in October 2018, revealed that 39 percent of the current membership of the city’s boards and commissions is comprised of women while the san Antonio population is comprised of more than 51 percent women. The result of the assessment is an action plan designed to enhance meaningful community outreach and engagement, to increase diversity on city boards and commissions, and reduce implicit bias. The percentage of women in executive positions (Directors, Assistant Director, and Leadership Team) within the city organization has significantly increased from 26 percent in 2005 to 43 percent today. Programs have been developed to assist employees to executive roles, such as Supervisory Excellence Training and the Management Development Institute.

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Black Teen Banned From Graduation Because of His Hair

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Mont Belvieu, TX — Deandre Arnold, a high school student from Texas, is reportedly being discriminated against because of his hair style of choice. His school, Barbers Hill High School in the city of Mont Belvieu, has suspended him and banned him from participating in his own graduation unless he cuts his locks to a shorter length.

School officials claim their decision is based on their long-standing policy wherein “no dress code policy that prohibits any cornrow or any other method of wearing of the hair, our policy limits the length. It’s been that way for 30 years,” Superintendent Greg Poole told KHOU 11.

However, activists believe that it is yet again another case of racial discrimination.

“The dress code is designed by white people for white people and is damaging to Black bodies,” Black Lives Matter activist Ashton Woods said.

“This is a Black and white issue, Deandre (and) his family should not have to go through this. But I expect it from a board that has zero diversity,” stated Gary Monroe, with the United Urban Alumni Association.

A number of activists supported Deandre and his family in their discussion with the Barbers Hill school board, hoping to come to a favorable resolution. They thought that the issue was an insignificant obstruction to the teen’s education that might also be experienced by others.

“We’re here for Deandre, but it’s about more than that, this is about all the other Deandres that could come through Barbers Hill,” Sandy Arnold, Deandre’s mother said.

Moreover, Deandre’s family, together with their supporters, are planning to take the case to federal court if the school wouldn’t come up with a resolution 48 hours after their meeting.

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Continuing The Legacy

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CONTINUING KING’S LEGACY OF JUSTICE, PEACE AND EQUALITY!

The City of San Antonio’s Martin Luther King, Jr. Commission will continue its commemoration of the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. by celebrating the 50th anniversary of the 1st March for Justice organized by the late Rev. Dr. Raymond “R.A.” Callies, Sr., a San Antonio teacher and pastor. Rev. Callies began the March in 1968 to call attention to the need for basic infrastructure on the east side. His efforts have resulted in what has become one of the largest commemorative marches for Dr. King in the United States and possibly the world. After the death of Dr. King, he worked tirelessly to have a statue of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. erected in what is now MLK Plaza located at the heart of the eastside on New Braunfels Street. Since then, community members along with thousands of others who travel across the country to participate, have gathered each year in increasing numbers to reflect on their own Dream of Justice, Peace and Equality to all in America.

Improving the quality of life for all people was the dream of Dr. King and Rev. Callies. The MLK Commission seeks to continue their work and legacy by offering educational and empowering events throughout the month of January each year. If you would like to support the mission of the City of San Antonio, MLK Commission, please participate by attending the various events provided by the Commission. Your financial support is also needed to help in presenting Scholarships to deserving area students. Please contact the City of San Antonio’s MLK, Jr. Commission for more informtation.

The signature event, the annual Martin Luther King, Jr. March, is scheduled for Monday, January 20, 2020. The march will begin at 10:00 a.m. at the MLK Academy located at 3501 MLK Drive and end at Pittman-Sullivan Park, 1101 Iowa. 

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Black Worship IX – Clergy Hall of Fame Dinner & Presentation 2020

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Every year clergy members from San Antonio, TX are honored for their good deeds and shown appreciation for their service in the ministry.  This year’s event will be held on Monday, February 24, 2020 at 7PM at the Antioch Community Sports Complex, located at 314 Eross St., San Antonio, TX 78202. The 2020 honorees are Rev. Dr. Claudette A. Copeland of New Creation Christian Fellowship and the Very Rev., Father Kevin Fausz of Holy Redeemer Catholic Church.

Its been a tradition that the Black Worship Clergy Hall of Fame allows for fellow clergy to come together with no other agenda other than to fellowship and celebrate another year of service and commitment.

“The Academy” which consists of past Clergy Hall of Fame Honorees include the following: Rev. Thurman Walker, Antioch Missionary B.C.; Rev. Claude Black, Mount Zion First Baptist Church; Rev. Carlton Allen, New Mount Pleasant Missionary Baptist Church; Bishop Samuel Iglehart, Childress Memorial COGIC; Pastor Jerry Dailey, Macedonia Baptist Church; Rev. Kenneth R. Kemp, Antioch Missionary Baptist Church; Rev. Dr. L.A. Williams; O. Trevor Alexander, True Vine Church; Rev. Kevin Nelson, Calvary Baptist Church; Bishop David Copeland, New Creation Christian Fellowship; Rev. Ruben Archield, Friendship Baptist Church; Rev. Rander Draper, Maranatha Bible Church; Rev. Ray Brown, Resurrection Baptist Church; and Rev. Robert Forte, Mt. Gilead Baptist Church.

Black Worship IX is open to the public.  Event tickets and advertisements for the souvenir journal may be purchased by visiting www.blackworshipsa.com or calling (210) 226-1939.

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