DreamWeek festivities bring diversity, equality, and tolerance to SA

San Antonio’s DreamWeek looks to have its largest offering yet of activities promoting the ideals of cultural diversity, equality, tolerance and progressive community action.

The annual DreamWeek takes place Jan. 6-21, and includes dozens of events citywide — lectures, luncheons, community forums, festivals, exhibits, concerts, among other activities.

They all center around in the yearly Martin Luther King Jr. March, scheduled for at 10 a.m. start Monday, Jan. 16. Typically involving more than 300,000 people, San Antonio’s march is one of the largest and most notable MLK Jr. marches in the country.

The mission for DreamWeek organizers is to promote an atmosphere of mutual enlightenment where communities and cultures can exchange ideas and foster greater understanding.

NowCastSA will be covering some DreamWeek festivities. Here are a few highlights from the schedule:

Join the San Antonio peaceCENTER and Compassionate San Antonio in a public conversation about contemporary politics and community engagement. Admission is free.

  • DreamWeek opening ceremony — 8 to 9:30 a.m. Friday, Jan. 6; The Spire, 230 Center St.

The kickoff includes a breakfast, a presentation by DreamVoice President Shokare Nakpodia, and a keynote speech by Ed Newton, lead pastor at Community Bible Church. Admission ranges $65 individuals, $1,500 for sponsorship tables

  • Dream Leaders recognition ceremony and conference — 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 7; The Doseum, 2800 Broadway

The ceremony will recognize achievements by local youths, ages 11-under, whose actions reflect the Rev. King’s mission in such themes as health, education, the arts, business and justice. Admission is $12 per person (free for Dream Leader awardees and two caregivers)

  • LGBTQ and ally safe zone training — 11 a.m.to 3 p.m., Saturday, Jan 7; Westfall Public Library, 6111 Rosedale Ct.

The Pride Center will offer free training to raise awareness, knowledge and skills for individuals in the LGBTQ community and their friends, family and advocates.

  • Billyray Sheppard’s Second SundWay Smooth Jazz — 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 8; The Plaza Club, 100 W. Houston St.

Local musicians gather to celebrate one of San Antonio’s renowned smooth jazz artists, Sheppard, in a jam session that also supports SAMMinistries. Attendees may bring basic household items, such as child-friendly snacks, bandages pots, pans, trash bags and feminine products, to donate. Admission is $15.

  • Forum on the epidemic of LGBTQ youth homelessness — 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Monday, Jan. 9; Launch SA, 600 Soledad (Central Library)

The Thrive Center will host a free screening of a documentary, and a discussion about the topic. Refreshments will be available.

  • Conversation with Congressmen: Where Do We Go From Here? — 6 to 9 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 10; Sunset Station, 1174 E. Commerce St.

Former local U.S. Reps. Henry Bonilla (R-District 23) and Charlie Gonzalez (D-District 20) will give their thoughts on the need for a bipartisan approach to foreign policy under a new presidential administration and beyond. World Affairs Council of San Antonio/Young Professionals will have a mixer afterward. Admission is $15 for WACSA members, $20 for guests.

  • Talk on San Antonio’s homelessness — 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 11; Central Library

The Dignowity Hill Neighborhood Association hosts a free, public discussion about the future of homelessness in a growing urban neighborhood, and how best to serve those individuals’ needs.

  • SA2020 impact report luncheon — 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 12; Witte Museum Mays Family Center, 3801 Broadway

The nonprofit SA2020 releases a full review of the city’s progress on specific community goals in 2016. The luncheon also is a celebration of activities, organizations and initiatives that help to move San Antonio forward. Admission is $50 for individual seats.

  • MLK Jr. Commemorative Lecture — 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 12; Laurie Auditorium, 1 Trinity Place

Marc Lamont Hill, professor of African-American studies at Morehouse College, will be the guest speaker of the annual lecture, co-presented by Trinity University and the San Antonio Martin Luther King Jr. Commission. This year’s lecture theme is, “From Segregation to Social Justice: What Would Martin Say?” Admission is free to the public.

  • You Speak We Listen: A Millennial Civic Happy Hour — 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 12; Dorcol Distilling Co., 1902 S. Flores St.

MOVE San Antonio invites college students and young professionals to join local elected officials and 2017 election candidates to discuss pertinent local issues. Dorcol and its HighWheel brewery will have its exclusive cocktails and beers available, along with food trucks and live music. Admission is free, but RSVPs are encouraged here as seating is limited.

  • Freedom Riders’ main event — 6 p.m. Friday, Jan. 13; Hilton Garden Inn, 8101 Pat Booker Road, Live Oak

Dr. Bowie Scholarship Foundation co-presents a 1960s civil rights era film screening and panel discussion, along with scholarship awards and a Freedom Riders’ “passing of the torch” ceremony. Admission is free.

  • 10th annual Youth Empowerment Summit — 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 14; St. Philip’s College Watson Fine Arts Center, 1801 Martin Luther King Drive

Local youth will get to enjoy special guest speakers, such as Marques Roberts and Shawn Blanchard, and interactive sessions designed to provoke discussion. Admission is free, but registration is encouraged here.

  • Writers Resist: SATX — 1 to 8 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 15; Alamo Beer Co., 415 Burnet St.

Poets and writers from across the country and Europe will gather for what is called a “re-inaguration” of Gemini Ink’s “shared commitment to the spirit of compassion, equality, free speech, and the fundamental ideals of democracy.” This will include readings and live music. Admission is free.

The nearly 3-mile march route ends at Pittman-Sullivan Park, 1101 Iowa, where there will be a rally with guest speakers, music and food. The keynote speaker is award-winning musician/activist David Banner. Up-and-coming R&B artist Jidenna will perform as well. Click here for more information on the march.

  • DreamWeek Slam — 9:30 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 17; The Korova, 107 E. Martin St.

PuroSlam presents its second annual DreamWeek poetry slam. Prizes will be awarded. Admission is $1.

The San Antonio Symphony pays tribute to the late Rev. King and the accomplishments of the civil rights movements with selections from past and present American composers, such as Duke Ellington, Leonard Bernstein and Adolphus Hailstork. Free admission with prior reservations. Click here for details.

  • 30-year photographic history reception — 6 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 19; Carver Center, 226 N. Hackberry St.

Enjoy a free exhibit that contains photos compiled by the city of San Antonio reflecting the civil rights movement, and of local leaders contributions to the cause over the decades. A film presentation is included. Admission is free.

  • Music Unites: Lend Your Voice and Let It Be Heard — 6 to 9:30 p.m. Friday, Jan. 20; San Antonio Sound Garden, 723 N. Alamo St.

San Antonio Sound Garden is a fledgling grassroots organization of local musicians that strive to encourage collaboration and grow the local music industry. This free event invites musicians and fans to celebrate the power of mercy through music.

  • Freedom Block Party — 3 to 6 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 21; Hays Street bridge

This inaugural family-friendly event concludes DreamWeek by celebrating the Eastside and all of San Antonio’s diverse neighborhoods. There will be free food, music and fun for all ages. Free parking available at Alamo Beer Co.

**Cover Image: Martin Luther King III addresses community members during the opening ceremony for DreamWeek 2016. Photo by B. Kay Richter.