2017 DreamWeek highlights equality and diversity in San Antonio / La Prensa SA


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.

Weekend Fun: MLK March, San Antonio Cocktail Conference



A three-day weekend is ahead of us! It culminates with an amazing happening on Monday! People of all ages and backgrounds will gather on the East side to be a part of the largest Dr Martin Luther King Junior March in the country. This year, marks a special milestone– the 30th anniversary!!!



In honor of 30th anniversary, Sinclair Broadcasting Group, the parent company of News 4 San Antonio and Fox San Antonio has created an amazing film documentary highlighting the march and its history.


The weekend is also full of DreamWeek activities– from art parties and showcases, to live music, to a Taste of the Dream and to a Youth Empowerment Summit. You can find a full list of happenings on the DreamWeek website.



THE San Antonio Cocktail Conference is underway in downtown San Antonio. From a Distillery tour, to tastings, to mixology classes and even a Stroll on Houston Street Saturday night to sample crafted cocktails and tasty food from downtown restaurants. There are dozens of events and classes from which to choose. All of this fun benefits Houston Street Charities that support children’s needs in our area. Uber is offering a discount for new riders just remember to use the “sacocktail” code.


DreamWeek kicks off with messages of hope, understanding / NowcastSA


Freezing (and in some cases, icy) weather did not dampen the spirits of more than 100 people who attended the DreamWeek San Antonio opening ceremony Jan. 6.

Gathered for a warm, freshly cooked breakfast at The Spire at Sunset Station, the attendees heard powerful words of hope, compassion and cultural diversity from guest speakers and organizers.

DreamWeek, which runs through Jan. 21, features more than 150 events citywide. Paying tribute to the late Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., these events promote the themes of understanding, peace, communication, education and tolerance.

DreamWeek San Antonio has grown in size in the last few years. As recently as 2013, the overarching event featured more than 30 events.

It now has more than 150 activities, ranging from film screenings and panel discussions to concerts and culinary festivities, with the MLK Jr. March – scheduled for Jan. 16 – being the centerpiece.

Jackie Gorman, executive director for San Antonio for Growth on the Eastside (SAGE), praised the San Antonio MLK Jr. Commission and other partner planning groups at the opening breakfast.

“We’re standing on the shoulders of giants. I’m excited about what God is going to do with this march,” Gorman said.

Mayor Ivy Taylor said, despite the recent political and cultural discord felt nationwide, it’s vital for communities to continue properly honoring the memory of King and his work.

“It’s entirely appropriate, especially in these days and times, that we would be reflecting on where we’ve come from and thinking about what work is necessary to bring Dr. King’s dreams alive,” she added.

Taylor said she feels Dr. King’s work is perhaps best reflected, locally, in how all people can be better connected to opportunities toward prosperity.

“Of course, you can’t be connected to opportunities for prosperity if you’re not treated with respect,” she added.

The mayor said instead of focusing on the things that divide Americans, people should concentrate on what brings everyone together.

She continued: “Even through we may feel challenged or concerned with what’s happening at the national level, we must focus specifically on San Antonio, on what our challenges are as a community and how we all can work together to bring that dream to life here.”

Ed Newton, the keynote speaker, is marking one year as lead pastor at Community Bible Church. He recalled growing up the son of deaf parents in subsidized housing.

Newton spoke of enduring adversity through his teenage years, including struggling to graduate high school and get into college.

But, as he put it, Newton found salvation with Christ. His grandmother scraped together enough money to help him start his college career, which culminated in his earning a doctorate.

Newton’s family of four now includes his Filipino wife, three daughters, and an adopted son originally from Nigeria. Newton said he often sees people in public staring at him and his family.

The adversity of his past, and the occasional racial misunderstandings he and his family face, help to shape his life and his message, Newton said.

Newton explained this adopted son, Lawson, has occasionally questioned why people see his family in a different way.

Newton said he once responded this way: “I said Lawson, i have hair, you have hair. I have a nose, you have a nose. I have ears, you have ears. I have knees, you have knees. We have a whole lot more in common than we do that’s different.”

Newton also recalled living in Memphis, Tennessee, where King was assassinated in April 1968. He showed a photo of his young son holding up a peace sign with his fingers from atop the very motel balcony where King was slain.

Newton said American society has made much progress from the turbulent civil rights era, but it has a ways to go.

“Dr. King, your dream came true, but this is not just about children (of different colors playing together),” he said. “The dream is that we live together and share lives together, and see each other as sons and daughters.”

Newton quoted King, “We must live together as brothers or perish together as fools.”

Shokare Nakpodia, president of the nonprofit DreamVoice, highlighted some of the featured DreamWeek events that lie ahead. Those events include:

  • A screening of the documentary film “Maya Angelou: And Still I Rise” at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 10, at Alamo Drafthouse Cinema-Park North;
  • SA2020 impact report luncheon at 11:30 a.m. Jan. 12 at the Witte Museum;
  • SAGE’s Taste the Dream Gala 6 p.m. Jan. 14 at the Witte Museum;
  • Children’s naturalization ceremony 10 a.m.Jan. 14 at The Doseum;
  • Listas Para La Lucha/Ready for the Struggle conference (from Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services) 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Jan. 14 at San Antonio Mennonite Church, 1443 S. St. Mary’s St.
  • Voter registration 8:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Jan. 16 at Pittman-Sullivan Park, co-presented by Neighborhoods First Alliance. Registration will be taking place before, during and after the MLK Jr. March, which ends at the park.

Shokare, among other speakers, encouraged attendees to make it to as many DreamWeek activities as possible.

“Let’s make it even bigger this year,” he added.

**Cover Image: The DreamWeek San Antonio opening ceremony kicked off during the early morning hours Jan. 6 at The Spire at Sunset Station. Photo by B. Kay Richter.

Glass Blowers Show Off Craft at DreamWeek / Spectrum News


SAN ANTONIO – With Martin Luther King, Jr. Day about a week away, the DreamWeek summit celebrations continue throughout the Alamo City.

The January city-wide summit kicked off early Sunday with a Second Sunday Dream Day at Caliente Hot Glass Studio.

For two years, glassblowers have partnered with Dream Week to celebrate diversity and inclusion.

Guests inside the hot shop got a chance to understand what it takes to get a finished piece of art.

“You can’t do it by yourself. … You need to be a trustworthy, reliable of the team or otherwise known as you need to be good to others so that you can have the help of everyone. Synergistically, we’re all better than the sum of its parts,” said Glen Andrews, Caliente Hot Glass Studio.

More than a hundred events – including film screenings, art galleries, and concerts – will highlight ideas of tolerance, diversity, and equality during the 16 days of DreamWeek.

DreamWeek: A Time to Broaden MLK Jr.’s Vision / Rivard Report


For the group assembled Friday morning on the Eastside, Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.’s dream of equality and tolerance has a broader reach than ever.

In the historic space that was once home to St. Paul’s United Methodist Church, the oldest majority African-American congregation in the city, more than 100 local leaders kicked off DreamWeek, the annual citywide celebration of King’s legacy. Speaking at The Spire, keynote speaker Ed Newton said that King’s vision – especially in today’s increasingly diverse society – applies to all people, regardless of race, culture, religion, or socioeconomic status.

“Dr. Martin Luther King died for something that was significant,” said Newton, lead pastor of Community Bible Church. “It was more than just little white girls and little white boys playing with little African-American boys and girls. It was for the understanding that we will no longer be seen as multicolored, but as multicultural” in today’s global society, and that means respecting each other’s diverse viewpoints and beliefs.

Keeping that in mind is especially important in a city like San Antonio that is growing both in population and diversity.

San Antonio Mayor Ivy Taylor, the city’s first black mayor, said that DreamWeek is “an extension” of King’s dream, and encourages the city to embrace his ideals and work toward tolerance, equality, and diversity.

“I think it’s entirely appropriate, especially in these days and times, that we be even more diligent in reflecting … and thinking about what work is necessary to bring Dr. King’s dream to life,” Taylor said. “In the past we’ve kind of scratched the surface … and now we really need to dig deep and delve into what that dream is really about … which is ensuring that each and every person is connected to opportunities and prosperity.”

San Antonio Celebrates DreamWeek 2017 / Spectrum News


SAN ANTONIO, Texas — DreamWeek 2017 has kicked off, with a message to honor the past, take stock in the present, and present a vision for the future.

DreamVoice President and Founder Shokare Nakpodia said that organizers are hoping to allow people to vent a little bit.

For the fifth year, Dream Week in San Antonio will be a platform for self-expression, tolerance, diversity, and equality.

“The goal is really we just need to say, there shouldn’t be any surprises really if you listen to people,” Nakpodia said.

This year more than 160 events and panel discussions will tackle a wide variety of topics.

“Such as gun control, how people speak, talk about voting rights, obviously we still have issue of gender and religious rights as well,” Nakpodia said.

While discussions will focus on specific issues, the annual MLK march becomes a melting pot of cultures and mouth pieces for civil rights. Now in its 30th year, organizers are expecting the biggest turn-out to date.

“I hope that we can hit the 500,000 folk mark this year. We’re at about 350,000 which is still head and shoulders above every other march in the country,” said District 2 City Councilman Alan Warrick.

Dream Week events provide the platform and the MLK Junior Commission awards the tools for success. This year more than $400,000 in scholarship money will be given to local students.

“It’s really a great thing to see the city come together and focus on our young people because they are the future and they are Doctor King’s dream and Doctor King’s legacy,” Warrick said.

It’s through a legacy of peace and diversity that San Antonio reflects itself.

“We have very unique way of settling our conflicts with very little drama for a city this size,” said Nakpodia.

An inspiring discussion, an exchange of ideas, and igniting change in the city we call home.


• For more information on DreamWeek:

• For more on the MLK March:

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.