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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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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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Legendary Newsman Eugene Coleman passes

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From his obituary:

Eugene Coleman, Sr.  was born on February 3, 1921, in Ennis, Texas. He was one of six brothers and three sisters to the parents of Mr. John Latelasafale Coleman and Mrs. Beatrice Simms Coleman,  all who proceed him in death.

Coleman moved to San Antonio in the 1970’s. He accepted Christ at an early age and he attended Mt. Zion Baptist church under the leadership of Rev. Claude W. Black.

Coleman, a Civil Rights and community activist, begin his career as a photographer during his World War II service in the Air Force.  Coleman was co-founder of SNAP magazine with Mr. G. J. Sutton and Rev. Claude W. Black. Mr. Coleman served as editor to publish news that was often neglected by mainstream media. He was an entrepreneur of the only black photography studio in San Antonio,  located in St. Paul Square. Businessman of Snap house, a chicken stand at the corner of N. Hackberry and E. Houston street, just up the road from his Photography studio.

Coleman was married to Mrs. Doris Coleman, and to that Union they had one son, Eugene Coleman, Jr.  He was later united with Mrs. Birdie Mitchell Coleman, who preceded in death in 1999. Coleman was always working and supporting others like San Antonio Black History Collection, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Mario Marcel Salas Papers and SNAP News collection, he was always a businessman.

He leaves to cherish his memories son, Mr. Eugene Coleman, Jr. A long time special friend, Mrs. Hertha Black Grant, a devoted caretaker, Mrs. Juanita White. Very close friends Mr. and Mrs. Oscar L Vicks and Mr. and Mrs. Derick Williams. A host of relatives and friends.

For more details visit https://www.lewisfuneralhome.com/notices/EUGENE-COLEMANJR

 

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VIA Transit Celebrates Freedom Rider

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VIA Metropolitan Transit and St. Philip’s College will team up to honor civil rights activist Rosa Parks on what would have been her 106th birthday, anchored by a vintage 1966 GM Dreamliner VIA bus that is a piece of San Antonio history.

Freedom Rider Barbara Bowie will speak about her experience, and Parks’ passion for education at 1 pm on Feb. 4 at the Turbon Student Center at St. Philip’s, 1801 Martin Luther King Drive. VIA will also announce a contribution to the Dr. Bowie Scholarship Foundation, in memory of Ms. Bowie’s late spouse Dr. J.R. Bowie, III.

Parks, “the mother of the freedom movement”, is widely known for not giving giving up her seat to a white bus rider during a time when black people were regulated to the back of the bus. The 40-foot VIA bus will be parked next to the Turbon Student Center from Feb. 4-8.

Parks rode the VIA bus in the city’s first MLK March 32 years ago in 1987. Special Rosa Parks Seats were installed in VIA buses in 2005, and every VIA bus (510) has a special yellow seat designated in honor of Rosa Parks. That year – 1987 – when Parks passed the campus was significant in that St. Philip’s College received its Historically Black College and University (HBCU) member institution designation from the federal government. Additionally, the vintage VIA bus carried a group of Freedom Riders as ceremonial passengers in the city’s recent 2019 MLK March.

For the operating hours of the display Feb. 4-8 and details on the Feb. 4 opening event, contact VIA.

All are welcome to attend the following 2019 Black History Month events, and visit the web page for updates:

*** = SPC Debut

++ = Paid Event

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