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MLK Weekend Packed with Activities

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The largest MLK March in the nation is just a few weeks away, and there are hundreds of events connected to DreamWeek to enlighten you and your family or just have fun.

Here’s a snapshot of some of the events happening on Sunday, Jan. 20, just one day before the largest march in the country.

Sunday, Jan. 20

9 am – MLK 5K at MLK Park: Martin Luther King Jr. once said, “If you can’t fly then run, if you can’t run then walk, if you can’t walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward.” The Young Men’s Leadership Academy 5K Run is a fundraising event presented by the school to help raise funds for the academy, as well as a demonstration of their support for Martin Luther King Jr.’s message of resilience and equality. Young Men’s Leadership Academy is the first all-boys public school in San Antonio. If you are unable, or do not wish to run, please donate!

2 pm – Wreath-Laying Ceremony: The San Antonio Martin Luther King, Jr. Commission invites the community to the Commission’s annual Wreath-Laying Ceremony honoring the life, struggles and accomplishments of Dr. King. Businesses, city officials, and organizations will lay wreaths at the MLK, Jr. statue in commemoration at 2 pm at E. Houston and N. New Braunfels streets. The Bexar County Buffalo Soldiers Association will present the colors.

2 pm – Technology and Play at BiblioTech East: Learn about how technology is changing the way kids play today. Screen time recommendations by the American Academy of Pediatrics for cell phones, television, and other digital devices will be discussed, as well as, hear about new trending apps and alerts parents need to know.  This event is free and open to the public.

2:30 pm – “As Ones” presented by Alamo City Opera at the Buena Vista Theater at UTSA Downtown: The Texas Premier, this new, 75-minute chamber opera depicts the experiences of its sole transgender protagonist, Hannah, as she endeavors to resolve the discord between herself and the outside world. Inspired in part by the life experiences of acclaimed filmmaker Kimberly Reed, “As Ones” rich libretto and evocative melodies and harmonies make it an unforgettable work. Pricing varies between $15-$50 depending on seat choices.

4 pm – Annual Day Party hosted by The Alamo Alphas in San Antonio at Lush Rooftop: Music by DJ E-Phlat will go until 8pm. The event is free.

4 pm – “The Rachel Divide”: This documentary spotlights Rachel Dolezal, a white woman who was famously found to be lying about being African-American while serving as an Africana studies professor and NAACP branch president in Spokane, Washington. Filmmaker Laura Brownson followed Dolezal and her sons for two years to explore her choice to continue to identify as a “transracial” African-American and how that’s affected her family. The Rachel Divide shows what happened to Dolezal after the initial furor died down. Filmmaker Laura Brownson says, “There [was] collateral damage and fallout that [was] very big and very hard to recover from. This event is free, but guests should RSVP to attend at the Alamo Drafthouse Park North.

5:30-6:30 pm Vigil: The P.E.A.C.E. Initiative presents a vigil and blessing for the people of the MLK March, symbolizing movement from a place of violence to a place of peace at the East Side Boys and Girls Club at 3503 Martin Luther King Drive.

Monday, Jan. 21

8 am Worship: The community is invited to enjoy a positive and uplifting experience during the Early Morning Worship Program. Presented by the San Antonio Martin Luther King, Jr. Commission, the event features contemporary and traditional musical artists, inspirational and motivational dances and spoken word performances. Free and open to the public. This event will include Food Bank donation bins. Please bring nonperishable food products to donate.

10 am – MLK March starting at MLK Academy at 3501 Martin Luther King Drive: The annual march, organized and presented by the San Antonio MLK Jr. Commission and the City of San Antonio, begins at the MLK, Jr. Academy and ends at Pittman-Sullivan Park, 1101 Iowa. The nearly 3-mile route down Martin Luther King Drive takes participants through San Antonio’s historic Eastside in remembrance of Dr. King. In 2018, approximately 300,000 people participated in the march as part of an unforgettable experience that has become one of San Antonio’s signature events.

To see the full list of events for the days prior to the Monday, Jan. 21 march, go here.

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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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