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January 2016

12 Days of Events Take Over Downtown San Antonio During the Fourth Annual DreamWeek Summit / SA Current 2016


Beginning January 8, forward thinkers and innovators will unite in downtown San Antonio for the Fourth Annual DreamWeek Summit. The multicultural convergence of thought provides a forum for the non-biased and open discussion of today’s most pressing sociocultural topics, presented through a series of mixers, panel discussions, luncheons and galas.

The 2016 summit is the largest yet, with more than 150 events that serve to bring awareness of the divisive societal issues that affect our varied cultures. All 150-plus functions are hosted by local individuals, organizations and entrepreneurs who are interested in advancing the voices of tolerance, equality and diversity.

The kaleidoscopic array of DreamWeek events ranges from heady think pieces to elaborate, celebratory soirees. A quick look through the featured events on and you’ll spot keynote speaking engagements, live music and entertainment, art exhibitions, health and wellness colloquiums, family-oriented activities, and of course, innumerable food and drink festivities. Intellectually curious minds can attend several substantive panels on compelling modern topics; urbanites who want to explore the exotic fare and cocktail pairings of different cultures can attend several culinary affairs; and families can choose from a host of kid-friendly events, depending on whether they prefer a more cerebral or playful DreamWeek experience. “Featured Event” highlights include the SAGE: Taste the Dream Gala, Place Changing: Living Stories on the Eastside, and the #IAmHappiest Happy Hour where attendees will learn to optimize happiness and mingle with “The Happiest Humans” in America.

All events are unique in the attention they bring to a particular issue but ubiquitous in their mission to spread tolerance, equality and diversity. Furthermore, DreamWeek events seek to unite. The summit goal is to dismantle the culturally segregated boundaries created by modern society while continuing to uphold and celebrate what makes us unique and culturally diverse. Instead of ascribing an issue to only one demographic, DreamWeek aims to adopt and understand the global hurdles we all face, and work toward finding a peaceful resolution together.

The 150+ hosting partners throughout San Antonio who make DreamWeek possible represent a collective who have their thumb on the city’s pulse, and understand that the current zeitgeist is shifting. These individuals and organizations see the growing desire for cognitive expansion and enlightenment, and recognize the need for a conference of this type. Sophisticates, groundbreakers and vanguards need take note, and attend as many events as possible if they want to be a part of the community that shapes San Antonio’s tomorrow. Moreover, the record participation for the Fourth Annual DreamWeek Summit is a testament to just how fully San Antonio has embraced the conference.

DreamWeek runs from January 8-19 in downtown San Antonio. The summit kicks off with a keynote address by Martin Luther King, III at the Opening Ceremony Breakfast at the Jack Guenther Pavilion (7:30 a.m.).

All events schedules are available on, as well as tickets to various events including the Opening Ceremony Breakfast. To share your voice, use the hashtag #DWSA2016 at any and all DreamWeek events!

DreamWeek 2016 kicks off Jan. 8 – 19 / WOAI: News 4 2016


SAN ANTONIO — San Antonio is a melting pot of cultures. An upcoming summit hopes to continue to promote diversity and equality within our city. It’s called DreamWeek. DreamVoice president, Shokare Nikori Nakpodia and Mary Nicole Bernal, the DreamWeek press liaison stopped by News 4 San Antonio’s Evening Break to talk about what events you and your family can attend. For more information, CLICK HERE.

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DreamWeek’s creator setting national goals for annual summit / San Antonio Express News 2016


Sho Nakpodia, creator of DreamWeek, is nothing if not an optimist. The San Antonio businessman and inspirer-in-chief has been guilty of lofty ideas, fanciful creativity and big thinking.

Like his hero Martin Luther King Jr., Nakpodia is a dreamer-doer. He came to San Antonio by way of several major world-class cities and has planted deep roots, embracing San Antonio as his new hometown. He’s determined to show the world what a model it is of tolerance, equality and diversity.

Those words are hard to live up to for any city, especially for San Antonio, whose public schools haven’t delivered graduates equally ready for college; where business development produces too many low-wage jobs; where access to health care is so uneven; and where unemployment is low but underemployment is high.

Nakpodia knows these difficult sociopolitical issues must be addressed. Still, for many, including Nakpodia, San Antonio continues — by virtue of a rich history and deep reservoir of cross-cultural cooperation or, at least, co-existence — to produce a way of living that’s worthy of sharing.

It may be hard to define what San Antonio possesses in tangible, empirical ways, but Nakpodia — perhaps because he’s from Nigeria by way of London and New York — says the city’s culture positions it in a unique way. DreamWeek, too. There’s evidence everywhere, even a takeout lunch of menudo he brought to his Sunset Station-area office to share with a Korean, a Colombian and another Nigerian. “And I didn’t have to go to South Side to get it. It’s not peculiar.”

At least not in San Antonio, where such cross-cultural experiences are common, and where they’re also a franchise.

“We’re discovering what our talent as a unique city is,” he says, and for him it’s how we resolve conflict. “We are a city that is peaceful in how we address issues. That is my take. It’s something that ties in with the traditions and history of this city. It’s ingrained within the culture. It’s something latent.”

Tolerance, equality and diversity are the three words guiding DreamWeek 2016, the fourth annual summit of events that culminate with the annual MLK march. The 12 days of DreamWeek follow nicely family celebrations of Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa and New Year’s fireworks.

DreamWeek isn’t all about celebration, however. Beginning Friday, it will bring people together in thoughtful discussion (in a talk about building equitable neighborhoods), to tackle big problems (violence against women) and push San Antonio to the next level (realizing the dream of a world-class city).

DreamWeek will ask San Antonians to stretch their minds (neuroscience can help find your personal purpose) and body (chair yoga). It will honor those who inspire (champions of LGBT equality and inclusion), even in quiet ways (teaching us to build resilience in uncertain times).

In all, more than 150 events are planned with more than 100 diverse partners — from the Animal Defense League to My Brother’s Keeper and from the Tobin Center for the Performing Arts to the Zachry Corp. DreamWeek has been called a multicultural convergence, a marketplace of ideas and a series that spreads awareness and enlightenment.

And because San Antonio is San Antonio, great food, music, art and beverages will be had. Some events require admission fees, but most are free. It will kick off with a breakfast at the Briscoe Western Art Museum and a keynote speech by Martin Luther King III.

In its first three years, DreamVoice, the nonprofit group behind DreamWeek, sought to establish its brand.

“By year three, we thought we’d have 30 events, but we had something like 55 the first year,” Nakpodia said.

In the next three years, DreamVoice will begin to reach beyond San Antonio to entice cultural tourism to the city for DreamWeek. It will continue to bring San Antonians together in places they might not otherwise visit.

“That’s part of the solution,” Nakpodia says, “to get people to venture out of their own comfort zone.”

DreamVoice already has heard from British officials interested in providing speakers to DreamWeek 2017, he said. “A lot of this is going on,” he said.

This year, DreamVoice will publish its first book, “1005 Faces,” based on photographer Sarah Brooke Lyons’ popular portrait series featured at DreamWeek. DreamVoice will model other projects after this one, he says.

Nakpodia thinks visitors can be drawn to experience DreamWeek and the largest MLK march in the country; and they’ll see that our multicultural interaction and cooperation, however imperfect, isn’t a fashion.

“We’ve done it for many years,” he says. More importantly, our youth need to see it as their inheritance.

Twitter: @ElaineAyala

Shokare Nakpodia DreamWeek founder aims to reinvigorate conversation / San Antonio Magazine 2016


For Shokare Nakpodia, language is everything. Not just the literal words we speak, but also the definitions and beliefs we associate with every utterance. “People underestimate the power of language,” says Nakpodia, founder of DreamWeek San Antonio, which takes place Jan. 8-19. “A lot of our fighting is because of a lack of communication.”

The Value of Words

The idea that language matters is something Nakpodia first began pondering while a cab driver. A Nigeria native, Nakpodia moved to New York City following college in the 1990s with the hopes of becoming a writer. He thought driving would allow him to earn money while still leaving time to hone his craft. Nakpodia’s career eventually led elsewhere (he’s now creative director of The Mighty Group, a marketing and design firm), but the lessons he learned in the driver’s seat stuck. “That was the first time really since becoming an adult that I’d met a diverse group of people,” he says. “I listened a lot—some people’s framework came from politics, religion, a self-imposed morality or business but within all of this was the actual language (they used).” Nakpodia continued to study the origins of words in English, Hebrew and other languages. Then when brainstorming in San Antonio years later with other community leaders, he says it was this idea of language that helped birth DreamWeek.

Brokering Peace

San Antonio already had established itself as home to one of the largest MLK marches in the country. However, Nakpodia says, there wasn’t a specific event that perpetuated MLK’s vision. DreamWeek is meant to do just that. The now 12-day summit, which started in 2013, aims to foster genuine conversation about the very kinds of issues MLK cared about. “Where would his vision lie today?” Nakpodia asks. Instead of waiting for a shooting to talk about gun control or for an election to talk about immigration, Nakpodia proposes we talk now, just like MLK would have. At panels, town halls and other events throughout DreamWeek, Nakpodia hopes to hear people sharing ideas and realizing that their definitions of words—from peace to God—impact how they relate to the world.

Building Dreamers

The idea of a summit where everyone talks about big issues wasn’t one Nakpodia was sure others would latch onto. But DreamWeek has done nothing but grow. This year, more than 100 events are planned, including a speech by Martin Luther King III. The summit won’t solve the world’s problems. However, Nakpodia says, it will foster progress. “Can San Antonio become a Geneva-styled destination where people can come to resolve conflict in a peaceful manner? Yes,” he says.

Fact File
Years in San Antonio: 14
Hometown: Lagos, Nigeria
Day job: Founding partner and creative director of The Mighty Group
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