2017 DreamWeek highlights equality and diversity in San Antonio

    Mayor Ivy Taylor officially kicked off DreamWeek, Jan. 6-21, featuring keynote speaking engagements, culinary galas, film screenings, art gallery exhibits, panel discussions and more. (Courtesy photo)

    DreamWeek San Antonio kicked off last Friday morning with the help of Mayor Ivy Taylor, keynote speaker and pastor at Community Bible Church Dr. Ed Newton and a presentation by DreamVoice president Shokare Nakpodia.

    Together, they introduced a 16-day event that will foster tolerance, equality and diversity with the help of over 100 partners and hosts that are participating in the 2017 DreamWeek. This multicultural convergence of thought is designed to spread awareness, enlightenment and foster an exchange of ideas.

    Expanding on the success of previous years, DreamWeek will continue to keep with the spirit of inclusion featuring keynote speaking engagements, culinary galas, film screenings, art gallery exhibits, panel discussions and more. For Mayor Taylor, DreamWeek is an opportunity for locals to become educated of the importance and difference Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. made in America.

    “DreamWeek has been an extension and an evolution of the MLK commission and its efforts over the years,” Mayor Taylor told La Prensa. “I think what is wonderful about DreamWeek is that it has expanded the opportunities for more conversation, dialogue and to engage on what Dr. King’s dream means to every corner of San Antonio. It challenges people to engage on issues related to social justice and equality every day of the year beyond Jan. 15.”

    DreamWeek coincides with the MLK March, which is one of the largest in the nation. The march is organized by the San Antonio Martin Luther King Jr. Commission, which is celebrating 30 years as one of the city’s leading volunteer organizations. Here are a few more events our readers should not miss:

    MLK Jr. Commemorative Lecture— Trinity University and the San Antonio Martin Luther King Jr. Commission will welcome Dr. Marc Lamont Hill, a professor of African American Studies at Morehouse College, as the guest speaker of the 2017 MLK Jr. Commemorative Lecture called, “From Segregation to Social Justice: What Would Martin Say?” Thursday, Jan.12 at 7:30 p.m. at Trinity’s Laurie Auditorium, 1 Trinity Pl.

     Listas para la Lucha; Ready for the Struggle / Raice—This free one-day conference is jam-packed with workshops and informational sessions led by local and national organizations. Keeping the immigrant and refugee community at the forefront, this conference aims to build capacity and have the marginalized immigrant and refugee voices not only be heard, but transformed into action. Saturday, Jan.14 from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. at San Antonio Mennonite Church, 1443 S. St. Mary’s St.

     Martin Luther king Jr. March— The annual march will begin at the MLK Jr. Academy and end at Pittman-Sullivan Park, 1101 Iowa. The nearly three-mile route down Martin Luther King Drive takes participants through San Antonio’s historic East Side in remembrance of Dr. King. Monday, Jan.16 at 10 a.m. at Martin Luther King Academy, 3501 Martin Luther King Dr.

     MBKSA Mix and Mentor Event— Join My Brother’s Keeper San Antonio (MBKSA) for a thrilling evening where they will identify issues of concern to San Antonio men of color, use identified issues to inform the work of MBKSA Action Network and identify mentors to engage with MBKSA moving forward through 2017. Wednesday, Jan.18 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Smoke Restaurant, 1170 E. Commerce St.

     “United We Are One” Exhibit— The Department of Arts and Culture hosts an exhibit celebrating how San Antonio citizens have stood, marched and sat together for equality.  The San Antonio Ethnic Arts Society will curate works by African American artists that tell the story of their experiences. Local artist Sarah Castillo will curate works by female artists that focus on the Women’s Day March and the battle for women’s rights and equality. Thursday, Jan.19 at Plaza De Armas Gallery, 115 Plaza de Armas.

     With these and many more events in hand, Mayor Taylor strongly believes that this will lead to a stronger future to the younger education, one step at a time.

    “I hope that DreamWeek encourages young people to know that everyone can make a difference in their community and speak about the ways they can do that. I also hope that they learn lessons from the life of Dr. King’s service and values, and develop a strong education,” concluded Mayor Taylor.

    For a complete list of events please visit www.dreamweek.org.