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DreamWeek kicks off events leading to MLK March / San Antonio Express News


DreamWeek, a 16-day summit of open forums in and around downtown, kicks off today with events leading up to the city’s Martin Luther King Jr. March, regarded as one of the nation’s largest processions.

A ceremonial breakfast is scheduled from 8 to 9:30 a.m. at The Spire, 230 Center St., with Mayor Ivy Taylor scheduled to give opening remarks. Ed Newton, pastor of Community Bible Church, is the keynote speaker.

Shokare Nakpodia, president and founder of DreamWeek, said the energy for the event comes from the thousands of people who march as a collective for equality, diversity and tolerance. Nakpodia said he founded the summit in 2012 as an environment where people can speak, debate and listen to all kinds of ideas without violence.

 “People learn each others’ point of view, or people are swayed and maybe change their position, based on what they’ve heard and what they’ve learned,” he said. “We think that San Antonio is primed to become a location for a healthy exchange of ideas.”

More than 100 events are scheduled for the summit. This year’s forums feature a range of topics, including LGBTQ youth homelessness; a morning of remembrance of the Holocaust; the Asian-American experience and an event honoring seven original Mississippi Freedom Riders.

City Council District 2 liaison DeMonte Alexander said DreamWeek is a vital part of the march that’s organized by the city’s Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Commission. The march will be held Jan. 16 at 10 a.m., starting at 3501 MLK Drive and ending at Pittman-Sullivan Park, 1101 Iowa.

“It’s like an onion. You have the core, which is the commission, which can only reach so far in terms of demographics,” Alexander said. “DreamWeek is the other layers of the onion that talks about not only MLK’s legacy and things he stood for, but other issues and opens the discussion up for people to have a voice about how they feel about certain issues.”

The theme of this year’s march is “King’s legacy for peace is justice for all. Remember! Celebrate! Act!”

The keynote speaker at the commission’s commemorative program will be award-winning recording artist and activist David Banner. The program will also include R&B artist Jidenna.

This is the 30th anniversary of the commission and the city sponsoring the first official MLK March. The MLK Jr. Commission was established April 3, 1986, by a city resolution under the term of former Mayor Henry Cisneros.

Alexander, also communications chairman for the commission, said the march is the culmination of year-round planning. A large part of the commission’s focus is the Martin Luther King Jr. scholarship program.

“All of this is for Dr. King, who was an advocate for doing these type of things to help continue to push for education in the community,” Alexander said. “That’s why we do everything we do to raise money for the kids.”

Wide array of issues to be discussed during DreamWeek San Antonio / ABC: KSAT 12


The fifth-annual DreamWeek San Antonio gets underway Friday.

DreamWeek this year will be 16 days of events, including the big Martin Luther King Jr. March on Jan. 16. The largest march in the nation is organized by the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Commission, which is celebrating 30 years as one of the city’s leading volunteer organizations.

This year the organization will hold panels about gun violence in the community, fake news affecting the 2016 election, homelessness in San Antonio, and increasing the awareness and knowledge of LGBTQ issues.

“The goal for the 2017 summit is to stimulate an interest in receiving and accepting a balance of options, voices and tastes in a manner which allows for individual representation,” DreamVoice president Shokare Nakpodia said.

This year’s summit will kick off with an opening ceremony Friday, featuring keynote speaker Dr. Ed Newton, lead pastor at Community Bible Church.

For a look at all the events this year, click here.

Groups will look for solutions to gun violence in San Antonio / MySA


Community, civic and spiritual leaders will gather in Windcrest on Saturday for a town hall forum about gun violence in San Antonio.

Titled “How to Reduce Gun Violence in Our Community,” the event is co-hosted by the local chapter of the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity and Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, a grassroots organization formed in response to the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings.

The event will include opening remarks by San Antonio Mayor Ivy Taylorand a panel featuring a variety of leaders.

Kim Anderson, head of the local chapter of Moms Demand Action, said the event will bring a diverse group of people together to formulate potential solutions.

“We’re coming together with our other faith leaders to see what the solution is,” said Anderson, whose brother was murdered. “How can we minimize the gun violence that’s going on in our community? We want everyone to see the real life impact gun violence has on people.”

The panel is part of DreamWeek San Antonio, which includes symposiums, film screenings, concerts and art galleries held until Jan. 21 aimed at promoting an exchange of ideas on criminal justice, education, business and health issues.

The forum, which is free, is from 4 to 6 p.m. Saturday at the New Creation Christian Fellowship, 8700 Fourwinds Drive in Windcrest.

People interested in attending the event can register at

Over 100 DreamWeek Events Planned in San Antonio / Texas Hill Country


Martin Luther King Jr.’s message of unity amidst diversity is celebrated across San Antonio January 6-21, 2017, with the DreamWeek summit, a collection of events aimed at fostering cultural equality.

Founded in 2012, DreamWeek is an event brought to life by San Antonio’s DreamVoice LLC. According to the event website, the aim of DreamWeek is to “invite all to participate in an open forum where real-world issues are discussed in a well-balanced manner.” Events take place across the city and include film screenings, concerts, art exhibits, panel discussion, debates, and more.

The event culminates in a 150,000+ person march organized by the City of San Antonio’s MLK Commission. The march is one of the largest of its kind in the United States.

Each of the days of DreamWeek is dedicated to one of the following themes: City, Sports, Cuisine, Health, Energy, Technology, Education, Arts, Youth, Spirit, Justice and Business. DreamWeek focuses on the teachings of Dr. King and hopes to bring his humanitarian ideals into the modern age.

With its multi-cultural heritage, San Antonio makes a gorgeous backdrop for King’s message of diversity, with numerous businesses and community groups sponsoring and participating in the summit. San Antonio Mayor Ivy Taylor recently said, “I hope that people will take the lessons of Dr. King and apply them in their everyday lives and communities. There are so many opportunities for each of us to make a difference and if we live in the spirit of Dr. King we have the potential to make a truly significant impact on The City of San Antonio and the world around us.”

To find out more about the events of DreamWeek, or how to participate visit

DreamWeek Returns with Messages of Tolerance, Equality and Diversity / SA Current


Established in 2013 with a mission to advance voices of tolerance, equality and diversity, DreamWeek is a citywide summit filled with discussions, screenings, concerts, exhibits and mixers rooted in 12 key topics: city, sports, cuisine, health, environment, technology, education, arts, youth, spirit, justice and business. Spread across 15 days and anchored by the Martin Luther King Jr. March on January 16, the fifth annual observance kicks off this week with an array of early highlights — including a reception for local artist Veronica Castillo’s “Trees of Life” exhibit (free, 6pm Wed, Forest Hills Library, 5245 Ingram Road); a talk between artists Robert Langham III and Casey James Wilson about the works they contributed to the group show “Hold Still” (free, 6pm Thu, Blue Star Contemporary, 116 Blue Star); “Foreign by Land, Native by Heart,” an exhibit examining the refugee  experience from the perspective of four San Antonio-based families who fled their homes in Malaysia, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iran ($8-$10, 9am-5pm Fri, Institute of Texan Cultures, 801 E. César E. Chávez Blvd.); Delta Rho Lambda Chapter (of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc.) and Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America’s interactive panel discussion  “The Election is Over, Now What?” (free, 4-6pm Sat, New Creation Christian Fellowship, 700 Fourwinds Drive); a reading from Anne Moody’s autobiography Coming of Age in the Mississippi (free, noon-2pm Sat, Carver Branch Library, 3550 E. Commerce St.); the opening of British-Nigerian photographer Juliana Kasumu’s solo show “From Moussor to Tignon: The Evolution of the Head-Tie” (free, 5-7pm Sat, Musical Bridges Around the  World Gallery, 23705 I-10 W.); keepHer San Antonio’s community-building discussion “keepHer Dream Alive: Celebrating the Long Legacy of Women of Color (free, 2:30pm Sat, Launch SA Auditorium, 600 Soledad St.); and an LGBT & Ally Safe Zone Training session led by Pride Center San Antonio (free, 11am-3pm Sat, Westfall Branch Library, 6111 Rosedale Ct.).

For a complete schedule of DreamWeek events, visit

Over 100 partners and hosts to participate in Dreamweek 2017 / La Prensa SA


Beginning Friday, Jan. 6 through Wednesday, Jan. 21, San Antonio will engage in the fifth annual DreamWeek summit of events. Planted in a city that thrives in diversity, DreamWeek aims to bring people together to attend a myriad of partner-hosted events throughout the city. This multicultural convergence of thought is designed to spread awareness and enlightenment on tolerance, equality and diversity.

San Antonians can inspire the start of their new year by attending the DreamWeek Opening Ceremony Breakfast with opening remarks from Mayor Ivy Taylor. Expanding on the success of previous years, DreamWeek will continue to keep with the spirit of inclusion, as there are events for all to participate in and enjoy including a series of keynote speaking engagements, evening mixers, live music, culinary galas, film screenings, art gallery exhibits, panel discussions, health and fitness expos, and more.

Throughout the events, participants honor the past, take stock of the present, and present a vision for the future. DreamWeek coincides with the MLK March, which is one of the largest marches in the country. The march is organized by the City of San Antonio Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Commission, which is celebrating 30 years as one of the city’s leading volunteer organizations.

“Our fractured nation has had, for some time, a challenging time dealing with divisive issues such as race, immigration, gender and abortion. In a difficult and trying 2016 election year cycle this was compounded by the ‘dislocation’ of facts and the ‘resourcing’ of truths. Our goal for the 2017 summit is to stimulate an interest in receiving and accepting a balance of opinions, voices and tastes in a manner which allows for individual representation,” stated DreamVoice, LLC President Shokare Nakpodia. “Within this context, we advance that truth is a mirror, and our community in its entirety should be on display… blemishes and all.” Nakpodia continued. “We can only choose what we are to become, but not what we have been. DreamWeek 2017 aims to consolidate the progress made by our hosting partners and set up more paths to reveal our capacity for tolerance, diversity and equality as an enlightened community.”

DreamWeek is presented by DreamVoice, LLC, a collection of civic-minded individuals who are committed to advancing and modernizing the teachings of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and humanitarians like him. The summit kicks off at 7:30 a.m. on Friday, Jan. 6 with an Opening Breakfast Ceremony. For a full list of events and ticket information, please visit

San Antonians Plan Bigger, Even More Diverse DreamWeek to Honor MLK / Rivard Report


It’s the beginning of a new year and, for many, January is the time for fresh starts and resolutions. It’s also the month when cities across the nation reflect on the life and legacy of one of the most influential leaders of the American Civil Rights Movement, Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.

King’s official holiday commemorating his birthday is observed on the third Monday of January each year, but DreamWeek, a summit started by DreamVoice LLC, gives San Antonians a chance to honor and advance King’s wisdom and teachings for the majority of the month.

Along with advancing King’s and other humanitarians’ messages of peace and justice, the DreamWeek summit – now in its fourth year – takes a more expanded approach to promoting equality, tolerance, and diversity among all communities, thus “proliferating and modernizing their aspirations of a more equitable and enlightened society for all.”

“We’re trying to use DreamWeek to present where we are today (as a society) along the path of that realization of (King’s) full dream itself,” said Shokare Nakpodia, DreamVoice LLC president and founder.

DreamVoice hosts the opening ceremony, but DreamWeek’s calendar is made possible by the dozens of groups around the city that host their own lecture series, workshops, mixers, film screenings, art shows, and other gatherings to foster healthy dialogue about topics relevant to today’s society.

A full schedule of DreamWeek events can be found here.

The point of DreamWeek in general, Nakpodia said, is for the community to come to the table with an open mind to acknowledge and explore our differences and complexities as individuals of varied backgrounds and beliefs, and to use those discussions to move forward.

This year’s 16-day program from Thursday, Jan. 5 through Saturday, Jan. 21 features more than 150 events by more than 100 nonprofits, corporations, and organizations, including the City’s MLK Jr. Commission of San Antonio, which has been hosting events in King’s honor since it was established in 1986.

The MLK Jr. Commission administers the Martin Luther King Jr. Scholarship Program, which gives college scholarships to several Bexar County students. To learn more and donate, click here. During January, it ramps up fundraising efforts and hosts a slate of musical performances, lecture series, worship services, and other activities centered around King’s work and message, along with its largest event, the Martin Luther King Jr. March.

See the Commission’s schedule of events here.

The march is one of the largest in the nation and brings together hundreds of thousands of people each year.

Last year, 300,000 individuals descended upon the city’s Eastside to take part in the historic 2.75-mile walk that concludes with speakers and live music in Pittman-Sullivan Park.

Organizers of this year’s event, which will take place on Monday, Jan. 16 starting at 10 a.m., expect around 350,000 people, said Christian Reed-Ogba, MLK Jr. Commission spokeswoman.

View the march route and find information about complimentary VIA bus rides to the festivities here.

City Councilman Alan Warrick (D2), whose district is home to the MLK March and a number of DreamWeek activities, attributes the strong and consistent collaboration among various local partners and the City – which has funded the march for 30 years – to the march’s success and growth year after year.

DreamWeek also is a time to reflect on the bigger issues facing the community, Warrick said, such as bettering police-community relations and, in his district, addressing the unemployment rate, which has gone down to 10% from 12% since he took office.

“We’re really looking to promote a positive message and it’s really about the promise for the future,” he said, adding that DreamWeek as a reminder of one of King’s biggest hopes for the United States: to be “a nation that we all can thrive and really grow and flourish in.”

This year’s commemorative event keynote speaker after the march is award-winning rap/hip hop artist, activist, and speaker David Banner.

The program also includes speeches by various City and County officials, performances by gospel artist Keith Pringles and rising R&B artist Janenna, and the presentations of the Baha’i Unity of Humanity Award and the Rev. R.A. Callies Courage Award.

The MLK Jr. Commission is chaired by Nathaniel Davis, director of major gifts/community & government relations at YMCA of Greater San Antonio. He has been on the commission for more than 20 years and Davis’ late father, Odie, founded the Davis-Scott YMCA for African American youth in 1944. His legacy was carried on by his wife, Nadine, who died in 2010.

The theme for this year’s march – “King’s Legacy for Peace is Justice for All. Remember! Celebrate! Act!” – is relevant to Americans today, Davis said, especially since inequalities still exist.

“One thing we’d like for our youngsters to do is to remember the sacrifices made before (them),” Davis said, “and that we can celebrate the progresses we’ve endured, as well, but don’t hesitate to act when things are not right. (They) have a voice to speak up.”

Other standout events hosted by the MLK Jr. Commission, Davis said, are the My City, Our Community Youth Summit on Jan. 14 at St. Phillip’s College and the interfaith service at New Creations Christian Fellowship on Jan. 15.

There also will be a wreath-laying ceremony at the MLK Jr. statue at Martin Luther King Jr. Plaza on Jan. 15 and the Eastside Education & Training Center-MLK Job Fair on Jan. 18.

The Youth Summit is an opportunity for young kids and teens to be brought “up to speed on different issues that affect their lives at this particular time,” Davis said. Education is going to be the main focus of the event, he added, but they’ll also be discussing topics related to social justice issues such as the Black Lives Matter movement and job creation, among other things.

Those looking to attend DreamWeek gatherings before and after the MLK March have plenty of options. Some events on the calendar focus on women’s rights, religion, LGBTQIA rights, immigration, politics, and race relations, and more.

“They’re sort of global issues right now,” Nakpodia said, “and I think that it’s important that we be able to at least have real, healthy discussions about them.”

Some DreamWeek events you shouldn’t miss, Reed-Ogba said, include the Mix and Mentor event hosted by My Brother’s Keeper-San Antonio, Soul Saturday hosted by her public relation firm’s networking group GoodPeopleSA, and the Taste the Dream gala for San Antonio for Growth on the Eastside.

Other notable events include The Epidemic of LGBTQ Youth Homelessness in America documentary screening and discussion hosted by the Thrive Youth Center Monday, Jan. 9 at 600 Soledad St., a musical showcase hosted by San Antonio Sound Garden on Friday, Jan. 20 at 723 N. Alamo St., and a Children’s Naturalization Ceremony held at the DoSeum on Saturday, Jan. 14, where 50 immigrant children will take their oaths of U.S. citizenship.

Nakpodia and Davis believe that San Antonio is a fitting location to host such a large tribute to King and his ideals of equality, diversity, and tolerance.

“We have (one of) the smallest African-American populations, but the largest march (in the U.S.),” Davis said. “That shows you that there’s a lot of people in San Antonio that believe in what Dr. King stood for, which was justice for all, not just one race of people.”

The community’s attempts to resolve conflict “with very little drama,” Nakpodia added, can make San Antonio “a real showcase for the rest of the world. … We can show people it’s a lot better to get together even if we are fighting than to be dismissive and to just throw rocks at each other.”

Why cybersecurity for businesses doesn’t stop at the desktop / San Antonio Business Journal 2016


While cybersecurity is often associated with firewalls and encryption for protection in the digital realm, for businesses it can come down to sound physical processes.

For example, taking a flash drive of sensitive files in an envelope and letting it sit on the loading dock for pickup by a shipping company is one way data can be breached.
From left, Tiffany Tremont, president of CEO of Silotech Group Inc.; Will Garrett, executive director of Cybersecurity San Antonio; Harvinder Singh, president of Bestica Inc.; Marina Gavito, executive director of TechBloc; and Debra Innocenti, lawyer with Strasburger & Price LLC, discuss cybersecurity at Dorcol Distilling Co. in San Antonio.

From left, Tiffany Tremont, president of CEO of Silotech Group Inc.; Will Garrett,… more

Kristen Mosbrucker

That was among the key takeaways from a panel discussion about cybersecurity in San Antonio during Martin Luther King Dream Week.

“We really need to stop separating the electronic from the physical,” said Debra Innocenti, an Internet and technology lawyer at Strausburger & Price LLC who was among several industry leaders on the panel.
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“Small companies may be thinking, ‘I’m not a target,'” Innocenti said. “But you are only as strong as your weakest link. So if your vendor has very poor cybersecurity protocols then that’s where you get hit.”

In 2014, Home Depot discovered that contact information for millions of customers were stolen by using credentials of a third-party vendor. Some corporations have sought cybersecurity audits with suppliers and service companies they contract with.

“It’s becoming a sales issue,” Innocenti said.

Likewise, the major move by banks for add a chip to debit and credit cards across the nation and shift liability to merchants that don’t upgrade their terminal technology came into effect in 2015.

“Financial institutions have been pushing for years to have some of that burden be put on vendors and merchant side of it,” said Will Garrett, director of Cybersecurity San Antonio, an advocacy group that promotes San Antonio as a hub for the industry.

“We are a large point-of sale-purchase fraud market, and part of the reason is that San Antonio is built on the backs of small businesses that plug and play,” Garrett said.

Rather than more regulation, Garrett suggested that a rating system for companies that employ best practices in cybersecurity — similar to LEED certification for promoting energy-efficiency measures — makes sense.

“It’s not regulated, but it shows you that a business is operating at a certain level,” he said.

Kristen Mosbrucker covers technology, finance and the military.

DreamWeek Closes with a ‘Freedom Party’ / Rivard Report 2016


More than 150 events on the 2016 DreamWeek calendar have come to pass and none remain after Tuesday night’s Freedom Party that concluded the 12-day summit of seminars, mixers, classes, and cultural events celebrating diversity in San Antonio.

DreamWeek founder Shokare “Sho” Nakpodia led the crowd that filled the Southwest School of Art‘s Coates Chapel to toast the more than 100 partner organizations that hosted events during this year’s DreamWeek. He called on the SA2020 team to show special appreciation. There wasn’t a lot of speechifying on Tuesday night, but there was plenty of dancing, free drinks, and mingling.

A live band, a DJ, Ballet San Antonio dancers, and local poet Amanda Flores performed for the crowd as they shared stories with friends both familiar and fresh.

“(DreamWeek has) gone exceptionally well and we’re very proud of the entire city’s involvement and contributions,” Nakpodia said while attendees laughed and danced. “We just happened to be the people who actually organized and put it together but without all our partners … it wouldn’t be so.”

He said the growth of DreamWeek, now in its fourth year, was unprecedented and he has no plans to slow it down. DreamWeek is about ready to start attracting people from all over the state, he said, not just San Antonio.

“These (early) years were really meant to grow the brand and create an environment where the entire city had some buy-in I think we need to do a little more next year to get people outside of San Antonio engaged,” Nakpodia said. “Austin, Dallas, Houston … more of a statewide effort.”

Several events drew huge crowds but perhaps the biggest, besides the MLK March, was the Good People SA Mixer at Freetail Brewery that hosted hundreds of people last Tuesday night.

The City’s MLK, Jr. Commission, which organizes the annual march and commemoration ceremony, estimates that about 300,000 people marched in the city’s Eastside this year.

“I was at the very end of the march,” Nakpodia said. “It’s very meditative for me.

“You can point at maybe a few thousand people who you saw at the march … but there are 298,000 who remain faceless. I wanted to be faceless … to be as anonymous as the number of people who are being oppressed.”

DreamWeek calendar concluded on Tuesday, but the MLK Commission has a few events scheduled for this and next month on its King Week calendar including a Dream Major Gala on Jan. 22 and two installments of the MLK Distinguished Lecture Series: An Evening of Music & Conversation with Chaka Khan on Jan. 28 and a conversation with actor, director, and author LeVar Burton on Feb. 11. Click here for details.

Applications for the MLK Commission scholarship for the 2016-2017 school year will be accepted until Feb. 26. Donations are still being accepted.

San Antonio will join U.S. cities in February to celebrate Black History Month with several events across the city, many of which will be held at the San Antonio Public Library.