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Inaugural Girls Empowerment Summit

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The City of San Antonio will host an inaugural Girls Empowerment Summit at Palo Alto College on March 13-14. The free two-day summit will feature workshops from renowned leaders. Registrants will also receive breakfast, lunch and transportation options. 

“The Girls Empowerment Summit is the first of many to come,” stated Councilwoman Dr. Adriana Rocha-Garcia. “I’m looking forward to promoting STEM careers and attending the summit alongside the girls to encourage them as they learn about important topics that affect their personal and professional development.” 

The first day of the summit will feature discussions with iEmpower, The Social Butterfly Gal, The Board Room Project, Girl Scouts of Southwest Texas, Girls Inc., Qué Means What and H-E-B about professional development, social media, self-care, body positivity and healthy relationships. The event will include a career fair with women in non-traditional roles for attendees. 

“This summit will empower young girls to be the best version of themselves with the support of local leaders and women from the community,” said Deputy City Manager María Villagómez. “This summit will make valuable professional and personal training and resources available to empower young women and girls in San Antonio.”

The second day of the summit will be hosted in partnership with Camp #HeroLikeHer at San Antonio Fire Department’s facilities. During this day, attendees will gain firsthand insights on what it’s like to pursue a career in fire service. 

“The San Antonio Fire Department is proud to be part of the City’s inaugural Girls Empowerment Summit,” said Fire Chief Charles Hood. “Our HeroLikeHer is a program that’s rewriting the narrative on women in fire service by showcasing their training process and what women can achieve to empower young women in the community.”

To learn more about the Girls Empowerment Summit text GirlsSummit to 55000 or go to: https://www.sanantonio.gov/humanservices/educationservices/GirlsEmpowermentSummit. Registration is now open and space is limited.

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Emotional Emancipation Circles: Nurturing Black Mental Health

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By Ayana Brown, MHPS

“We are going to emancipate ourselves from mental slavery because whilst others might free the body, none but ourselves can free the mind.” – Marcus Garvey

As Black Americans, we carry the weight of our ancestors’ struggles, resilience, and triumphs. Our collective history is filled with pain, but it is also infused with strength. In the face of ongoing challenges, it is essential for us to prioritize our emotional well-being and seek healing. There are more than 100 types of therapy, yet few are culturally based. Even fewer are made available to Black, Indigenous and People of Color, or the BIPOC community. One powerful tool that can aid in this process is the Emotional Emancipation Circle (EEC).

Emotional Emancipation Circles from the Community Healing Network (CHN) provide a safe and supportive space to confront and heal from the psychological and emotional wounds inflicted by racism, discrimination, and systemic oppression. Endorsed by the late Maya Angelou in 2009 and supported by the Association of Black Psychologists, EECs are rooted in the understanding that our mental and emotional well-being is as important as our physical health.

These support groups are structured and evidence-based settings where people from the diaspora participate in open and honest talks, allowing us to express the various feelings of being Black. We share our tales, worries, hopes, and dreams with the knowledge that we are not being judged. We offer support to one another via active listening, empathy, and affirmation, forming links of healing and resilience. We also discover our genuine history. 

Empowered by what I was first exposed to in Panama, I became a certified facilitator in 2021. I recognize that the BIPOC community struggles with insufficient access to resources and feels their individual needs are overlooked. As a disabled veteran, caregiver, and parent, I am passionate about advocating, consulting, and collaborating with a nationwide network of providers dedicated to education and empowerment. This is a service that REACH Peer Support Services offers to “fill in the gaps” between our community needs and what is offered. 

The Community Healing Network has formed these circles globally. If you want to learn more about CHN and other BIPOC-focused mental health resources and services for your church, organization, or family, go to  (ReachPeerSupportServices.com).  Those who join the newsletter will know about the next EEC location first. 

After serving honorably in the United States Navy, Ayana Brown, MHPS, launched REACH Peer Support Services, LLC in 2021 to use her various experiences towards her passion, empowering families to heal with advocacy and non-judgmental support.

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San Antonio Airport to Set Record for Travel During Memorial Day Weekend

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More people are packing their suitcases for trips in and out of San Antonio International Airport (SAT) than ever before. SAT will see a record-breaking number of travelers – close to 190,000 total – from Thursday to Memorial Day. During that 5-day period, there’s an estimated 14% increase in scheduled seats to and from SAT compared to 2019 and a 19% increase since last year.

We’re expecting the busiest Memorial Day weekend travel in our airport’s history,” said Jesus Saenz, Director of Airports, San Antonio Airport System. “People want to fly and it’s getting more affordable to do so. We are seeing more competitive fares with the addition of Spirit Airlines over the last year – and that’s helping our travelers find better deals on flights that are too good to pass up. We’re also expecting our busiest summer ever, but right now we’re focused on making sure everyone has a smooth experience in the days ahead.”

According to the Transportation Security Administration, here’s a day-by-day breakdown of how many passengers are expected to fly in and out of SAT:

  • Thursday: 38,514
  • Friday: 38,600
  • Saturday: 34,000
  • Sunday: 38,100
  • Memorial Day: 37,700

Fly Away Valet has also set records recently. Earlier this month, the company reported a gigantic increase in parking spaces at SAT since the service began in 2020. The service started with 80 spaces and now has 500.

Last week, valet operations were consolidated to the Short-Term Parking Garage for both pick-up and drop-off of vehicles.

For more information and to watch a video showing how to valet park at SAT, please visit the airport’s website.

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75 Years of Providing Worldwide Service as Zetas and Friends

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Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Incorporated, The Mighty” Southern Region is hosting its 94th Southern Regional Leadership Conference and 55th Southern Regional Amicae Leadership Workshop from June 8 – June 10, 2023. The conference site is the Marriott Rivercenter, located on the River Walk at 101 Bowie Street, San Antonio, Texas 78205.

The theme,“Celebrating 75 Years of Providing Worldwide Service as Zetas and Friends,” is aligned to Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Incorporated’s efforts to address and bring awareness to health disparities and social determinants in Texas and Louisiana.  The Southern Regional Leadership Conference is hosting two events that are open for the public to attend: a Health Justice Townhall and a Public Program that includes a Night of Performing Arts.

The Southern Regional Health Justice Townhall is June 8, 2023, from 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m., and will be moderated by Dr. Stacie NC Grant, International President and CEO of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Incorporated. The town hall will provide a platform for open and honest dialogue on health justice, healthcare, health disparities, and social determinants.  The panel will consist of experts in the fields of health, civic and social advocates and leaders who serve as Champions for health justice and equity. 

“The Mighty” Southern Regional Public Program is June 9, 2023, from 7:30 p.m. to 11:00 p.m.  It will consist of recognition of San Antonio community leaders who are Embracing the Extraordinary with Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Incorporated, and a Night of Performing Arts featuring Billy Ray Shepard.   

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