What a wonderful month of celebrating Black History in San Antonio. There is much to be proud of and much more to be hopeful for. Our City has been one of diversity for decades. The peaceful protest held at the Woolworth building in the 50’s, was one such instance where our community displayed a comprehension of inclusion that was well ahead of its time. It demonstrated a level of understanding that equality meant that all men and women were indeed created equal.
The culmination of Dream Week festivities, the MLK March, and the array of numerous events held across our City and at Alamo Colleges was indicative of a high degree of respect and pride for celebrating and recognizing the significance of Black History in San Antonio. As a community we have come so much further, but we still have a way to go.
Pride in our culture is majorly important. Pride in one’s self, one’s culture begins at home. If the lens in which the view of our world seems unfair or skewed, can we really hope to excel? For many, the belief has been a resounding NO.
I had a student at St. Philips share with me that she respects all cultures and holds an appreciation of the impact certain people and events have had in our history. However, they could not relate to it beyond the context of its academic importance. “Where is my cultures place in history?” she asked. At its core, the student wished that at a Historically Black College and University (HBCU), there should be an African American studies program. One that would provide a balanced view of her history and make learning relevant.
I explained to her that I am committed to ensuring we establish such a program at SPC and that steps are already in action to ensure we will make a formalized African American Studies program a reality one day. I truly understand how invaluable identifying with where you came from and who you are – can help shape who you can become.
The epicenter of poverty in San Antonio is in District 2. Decades of segregation have kept portions of D2 down and behind in terms of median household income, educational attainment, and career advancement. As a result, economic generators, business and commercial development has been very limited.
As somber as those realities are, real change is coming. These changes led by Alamo Colleges, Bexar County, the City, and corporate and community partners through the Alamo Promise initiative carry the potential to undo centuries of inequities and barriers to access that have plagued D2 for decades. A beacon of hope has been lit and the time to elevate our efforts is now.
If you are interested in speaking with me about the Alamo Promise program or any Alamo Colleges efforts, especially in district 2, please feel free to call me or text me directly at 210.386.0075. It is my priority to serve D2. I am here to serve and help lead district 2 forward.