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San Antonio Leads Effort to Protect Military Bases in Texas

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San Antonio once again has showed its commitment to being Military City, USA, as Maj. Gen. Juan G. Ayala (USMC Retired), director of the city’s Office of Military and Veterans Affairs, stepped into his role as the president of Texas Mayors of Military Communities.

Ayala was designated by Mayor Ron Nirenberg to serve on the advocacy group on behalf of San Antonio, and later elected president by members of Texas Mayors of Military Communities (TMMC).

“This appointment is evidence of the great partnership and support the Office of Military and Veterans Affairs provides under the leadership of Maj. Gen. Ayala to not only San Antonio, but to Texas as well,” Mayor Nirenberg said. “As Military City, USA, we are proud to join forces with other Texas cities to protect our military bases.”

TMMC is a nonprofit consisting of 13 cities, including Abilene, Austin, Corpus Christi, Del Rio, El Paso, Fort Worth, Houston, Killeen, Kingsville, San Angelo, San Antonio, Texarkana and Wichita Falls. The group was formed to advocate at the State Capitol for policies and funding that benefit Texas bases. The 15 bases in Texas represent approximately $101 billion per year in annual economic impact for Texas, while employing several hundred thousand men and women in both military and civilian roles.

“As the largest employer in the region, the military is a priority for the city of San Antonio,” City Manager Sheryl Sculley said. “In addition to investing more than $90 million in infrastructure since 2009 to support our bases and developing regulations that ensure compatible land use, we see it as our responsibility to advocate for the military when they cannot do so themselves.”

One priority for TMMC has been grant money for the Defense Economic Assistance and Adjustment Grants (DEAAG) program. In each of the past three years, the San Antonio area has successfully applied for DEAAG grants totaling nearly $15 million. Funds are used to connect San Antonio’s installations to the San Antonio Water System, acquire private property in the Accident Protect Zones adjacent to Randolph Air Force Base and construct a high-tech building at Port San Antonio to house cybersecurity operations.

“Military missions are not only a part of the culture and history of Texas communities, but are also integral to state and local economies,” Ayala said. “We are committed to uniting military communities to preserve and promote the military installations in Texas. I’m honored to serve in this position and further our efforts to protect Texas military bases.”

The group has been successful in securing more than $50 million in state grant funding that has been leveraged by local governments throughout Texas to enhance the military value and missions of its bases.

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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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