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[00:00:06]

I

[ Austin MLK Jr. Birthday Celebration on January 13, 2023]

HAVE THE PLEASURE TO PRESENT TO YOU, DR.

MARTIN LUTHER KING.

I AM HAPPY TO JOIN WITH YOU TODAY IN WHAT WILL GO DOWN IN HISTORY AS THE GREATEST DEMONSTRATION FOR FREEDOM IN THE HISTORY OF OUR NATION.

FIVE SCORE YEARS AGO, A GREAT AMERICAN IN WHOSE SYMBOLIC SHADOW WE STAND TODAY SIGNED THE EMANCIPATION PROCLAMATION.

THIS MOMENTOUS DECREE CAME AS A GREAT BEACON LIGHT OF HOPE TO MILLIONS OF NEGRO SLAVES WHO HAD BEEN SEARED IN THE FLAMES OF WITHERING INJUSTICE.

IT CAME AS A JOYOUS DAYBREAK TO END THE LONG NIGHT OF THEIR CAPTIVITY.

BUT 100 YEARS LATER, THE NEGRO STILL IS NOT FREE.

100 YEARS LATER, THE LIFE OF THE NEGRO IS STILL, SADLY CRIPPLED BY THE MANACLES OF SEGREGATION AND THE CHAINS OF DISCRIMINATION.

100 YEARS LATER, THE NEGRO LIVES ON A LONELY ISLAND OF POVERTY.

I HAVE A DREAM.

THE, THAT ONE DAY, YES, THIS NATION WILL RISE UP, LIVE UP THE TRUE MEANING OF ITS CREED.

WE HOLD THESE TO BE SELF-EVIDENT THAT ALL MEN ARE CREATED.

I HAVE A DREAM THAT ONE DAY ON THE RED HILLS JOY SONS OF FORMER SLAVES AND THE SONS OF FORMER SLAVES, WILL THEY BE ABLE TO SIT DOWN TOGETHER AT THE TABLE OF BROTHERHOOD.

I HAVE A DREAM THAT ONE DAY, EVEN THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI, A STATE S SWELTERING WITH THE HEAT OF INJUSTICE, SWELTERING WITH THE HEAT OF OPPRESSION, BE TRANSFORMED INTO OASIS OF FREEDOM AND JUSTICE.

I HAVE A DREAM MY POOR LITTLE CHILDREN WILL ONE DAY LIVE IN A NATION WHERE THEY WILL NOT BE JUDGED BY THE COLOR OF THEIR SKIN, BUT BY THE CONTENT OF THEIR CHARACTER.

I HAVE A DREAM.

I HAVE A DREAM THAT ONE DAY DOWN IN ALABAMA WITH ITS VICIOUS RACIST, WITH ITS GOVERNOR, HAVING HIS LIPS DRIPPING WITH THE WORDS OF INTERPOSITION AND NULLIFICATION.

ONE DAY RIGHT NOW IN ALABAMA, LITTLE BLACK BOYS AND BLACK GIRLS WILL BE ABLE TO JOIN HANDS WITH LITTLE WHITE BOYS AND WHITE GIRLS.

AS SISTERS AND BROTHERS, I HAVE A, I HAVE A DREAM THAT ONE DAY EVERY SHALL BE EXALTED.

EVERY HILL IN MOUNTING SHALL BE MADE.

LORD, THE ROUGH PLACES WILL BE MADE PRAYING AND THE CROOKED PLACES WILL BE MADE STRAIGHT.

AND THE BOYS LORD, SHALL BE REVEALED IN ALL SHALL SEE IT TOGETHER.

THIS IS OUR HOPE.

THIS IS FAITH THAT I GO BACK TO THE SO WITH THIS FAITH, WE WILL BE ABLE TO HUG OUTTA THE MOUNTAIN OF DESPAIR, A OF HOPE.

WITH THIS FAITH, WE WILL BE ABLE TO TRANSFORM THE DANGLING DISCOURSE OF OUR NATION INTO A BEAUTIFUL SYMPHONY BROTHERHOOD.

WITH THIS FAITH, WE WILL BE ABLE TO WORK TOGETHER, TO PRAY TOGETHER, TO STRUGGLE TOGETHER, TO GO TO JAIL TOGETHER, TO STAND UP FOR FREEDOM TOGETHER, KNOWING THAT WE WILL BE FREE ONE DAY.

[00:05:05]

THIS WILL BE THE DAY WITH ALL GODCHILDREN BE ABLE TO SING WITH NEW MEANING.

MY COUNTRY TEARS, SWEET LAND OF LIBERTY, OF SING LAND WHERE MY FATHER'S DIED, LAND OF THE PILGRIMS. PRIDE FROM EVERY MOUNTAINSIDE, LET FREEDOM REIGN.

IN AMERICAS TO BE A GREAT NATION, THIS MUST BECOME TRUE.

AND SO LET FREEDOM REIGN FROM THE PRODIGIOUS HILLTOPS OF NEW HAMPSHIRE.

LET FREEDOM REIGN FROM THE MIGHTY MOUNTAINS OF NEW YORK.

LET FREEDOM RANG FROM THE HEIGHTENING ALLEGHENY OF PENNSYLVANIA.

HEIGHTEN LET FREEDOM RANG FROM THE SNOW CAP ROCKIES OF COLORADO.

LET FREEDOM RANG FROM THE KAL SWS OF CALIFORNIA.

BUT NOT ONLY THAT, LET FREEDOM RING FROM STONE MOUNTAIN OF GEORGIA.

LET FREEDOM RING FROM LOOKOUT MOUNTAIN OF TENNESSEE.

LET FREEDOM FROM EVERY HILL AND HILL OF MISSISSIPPI, FROM EVERY MOUNTAIN SIDE.

WHEN WE LORD, FROM EVERY VILLAGE, AND EVERY HAMLET, FROM EVERY STATE AND EVERY CITY, WE WILL BE ABLE TO SPEED UP THAT DAY WITH ALL OF GOD CHILDREN, BLACK MEN AND WHITE MEN.

10 CATHOLIC WILL BE ABLE TO JOIN HANDS AND SING IN THE WORDS OF THE NEGRO SPIRITUAL.

AT THE DAWN OF THE 20TH CENTURY, AMERICA WAS A COUNTRY FULL OF PROMISE AND HOPE.

FOR MANY BLACK AMERICANS FACED A DIFFERENT REALITY.

A NATION'S SEPARATE AND UNEQUAL, YET THEIR HOPE PERSISTED.

PAINED BY INEQUALITY, BUT INSPIRED BY RESILIENCE, WRITER AND CIVIL RIGHTS ACTIVIST, JAMES WELDON JOHNSON PUT PEN TO PAPER, HIS WORDS WOULD BECOME A UNIFYING CALL, A HOPE FOR A BRIGHTER TOMORROW, A TIMELESS EXHORTATION TO LIFT EVERY VOICE AND SING.

LIFT EVERY VOICE AND SING HONEY, SOUND LOUD AS ROLLING.

SING.

THEY'RE FORCES THAT WANT TO TAKE US BACK TO ANOTHER PLACE.

WE DON'T WANT TO GO BACK.

WE WANNA GO FORWARD.

WELCOME TO AUSTIN PUBLIC LIBRARY AND WELCOME TO THE

[00:10:01]

MARTIN LUTHER KING HOLIDAY CELEBRATION.

GIVE YOURSELF A HANDS FOR COMING OUT, SPENDING YOUR LUNCH WITH US.

AND ON BEHALF OF DIRECTOR WEEKS, ROOSEVELT WEEKS, AND MY 500 OTHER STAFF MEMBERS, WE WANNA WELCOME YOU TO OUR HOUSE.

WE WANNA THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU.

AND WE ARE EXCITED THAT YOU'RE HERE.

WE WANNA JUST ENCOURAGE YOU TO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF ALL THE PROGRAMS AND SERVICES THAT WE OFFER HERE AT AUSTIN PUBLIC LIBRARY.

WE HAVE 10 OTHER BRANCHES STREAMING IN TODAY.

THIS IS A HISTORICAL EVENT.

WE'VE NEVER DONE THIS BEFORE.

WE'VE NEVER HAD STREAMING FROM 10 LOCATIONS.

GIVE OURSELVES A HAND SO YOU GET A PART TO BE A PART OF HISTORY.

DR.

KING WAS A VISIONARY, HE WAS A HISTORY MAKER.

AND TURN TO YOUR NEIGHBOR AND SAY, YOU'RE A HISTORY MAKER.

YOU'RE A PART OF HISTORY TODAY.

AND SO IN, IN SOCIAL JUSTICE, IN EQUITY, DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION, I DIDN'T INTRODUCE MYSELF.

I'M CARMITA MCKINNIS WILLIAMS. I'M THE E D I OFFICER FOR AUSTIN PUBLIC LIBRARY.

AND I'M EXCITED TO BE HERE.

UH, I WANNA WELCOME MY PANELIST UP TO JOIN ME.

UM, AND WE HAVE AN ESTEEMED, UM, PANEL.

UM, WE HERE AT AUSTIN PUBLIC LIBRARY, WE HAVE BEEN DIVING INTO EQUITY, DIVERSITY, AND INCLUSION.

AND A PART OF THAT TASK WHEN I CAME HERE WAS TO HAVE OUR, OUR BRANCHES HAVE EDI ACTION PLANS.

AND THAT'S TO GET INTO YOUR NEIGHBORHOODS, GET INTO YOUR SCHOOLS, FIND OUT WHO'S IN YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD, TO KNOW HOW WE CAN SERVE YOU.

SO WHAT BETTER WAY TO DO THAT THAN TO MODEL IT.

SO TODAY, I MODEL THAT BY INVITING YOU HERE AND INVITING OUR PANEL FROM OUR COMMUNITY TO GET THE VOICES OF OUR COMMUNITY.

WE HAVE, AS I STATED BEFORE, DR.

KING, HE WAS A HISTORY MAKER.

HE WAS A WORLD CHANGER.

HE WAS A DREAMER.

AND I WOULD HOPE THAT WE WOULD ALL BE ADVANCING HIS DREAM IN SOME WAY.

THE FACT THAT YOU SHOWED UP TO THIS PROGRAM TODAY MEANS THAT YOU'RE TAKING A STAKE IN ADVANCING THAT DREAM.

AND WE HAVE PART OF SOME OF THOSE ERAS WITH US.

WE HAVE SOME HISTORY MAKERS IN AUSTIN WHO WAS AROUND IN THE CIVIL RIGHTS ERA.

WE HAVE SOME HISTORY MAKERS HERE, UM, WHO HELPED TO GET MARTIN LUTHER KING BOULEVARD IN AUSTIN.

SO, MR. FREDDY DIXON, I'M GONNA ASK YOU TO BE THE FIRST PERSON TO JOIN ME UP AT THIS PANEL AND HAVE A SEAT.

LET'S GIVE HIM A HAND.

THEN WE'RE GONNA ASK DARWIN WRIGHT, WHO IS A FIFTH GENERATION AUSTINITE, WHO KNOWS THAT IF YOU MEET SOMEBODY FROM AUSTIN, THAT'S LIKE A ICON, RIGHT? SO, MR. DARWIN WRIGHT, HE IS A FIFTH GENERATION AUSTINITE.

UM, HE IS A DESCENDANT FROM PEOPLE WHO CAME FROM THE 1928 PLAN WHO MOVED OUT OF THAT DISTRICT.

AND HE IS A DESCENDANT.

HE'S GONNA BE NEXT.

LET'S GIVE HIM A HAND.

THEN WE'RE GOING TO ASK ONE OF MY LATEST FOLKS.

I'VE BEEN ASKING THESE TWO.

THEY WERE HERE AT STAFF DEVELOPMENT DAY LEE, WHO IS, UM, THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR FOR BRAVE COMMUNITIES, WHO HAS A STAKE IN RAISING UP OUR NEXT GENERATION.

SHE PUTS TIME, ENDLESS TIME AND EFFORT INTO RAISING UP THE NEXT GENERATION.

MS. LEE, PLEASE JOIN US.

AND, AND MY, MY BROTHER FROM ANOTHER MOTHER, JAMES GLISI, WE HAVE BEEN DOING THIS WORK FOR ABOUT THE 5, 6, 7 YEARS TOGETHER, DOING RACIAL HEALING CIRCLES.

BE ON THE, UM, STEERING COMMITTEE FOR AUSTIN COMMUNITY COLLEGE WITH THE TRUTH, RACIAL HEALING CIRCLES AND CENTER.

UM, MR. JAMES GLISI, PLEASE JOIN ME.

EQUITY CONSULTANT, REVEREND DOCTOR, RIGHT HERE.

AND THEN THE DUDE UP IN THE TOP WHO YOU KNOW, WE ALL KNOW HIM.

LOVE HIM.

UH, ENTREPRENEUR, UH, PHILANTHROPIST, FOUNDATION, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR.

PRESIDENT, COME ON.

LET'S GIVE HIM A HAND.

MR. SA PAUL, LET'S GIVE IT TO HIM.

WE GOT GREATNESS IN THE HOUSE.

AND HIS LOVELY WIFE IS AROUND HERE SOMEWHERE, BUT BIANCA, THERE SHE IS.

SAY HI TO HER.

SO I ARRANGED THIS PANEL BEFORE WE GET INTO SAUL, PAUL'S PERFORMANCE TO REALLY KIND OF GET INTO THE ERA.

AND WE WANT, UM, REVEREND DIXON TO GO FIRST BECAUSE HE WAS A PART OF GETTING MARTIN LUTHER KING

[00:15:02]

BOULEVARD.

HE STARTED THE URBAN LEAGUE IN AUSTIN.

HE IS TRULY A HISTORY MAKER.

HE IS TRULY A PART OF AUSTIN'S HISTORY.

ALL AS, AS YOU CAN TELL, ALL OF THEM ARE, BUT HE IS OUR SENIOR STATESMAN.

AND THE WAY I WAS RAISED, WE, WE RESPECT OUR ELDERS.

RIGHT? SO WE GONNA START WITH, UM, REVEREND DIXON, WE GONNA ALLOW YOU TO GIVE US JUST A BRIEF HISTORY OF WHO YOU ARE AND WHAT YOU'VE DONE FOR AUSTIN.

THANK YOU.

THANK YOU.

IT IS AN HONOR FOR ME TO BE HERE WITH THESE DISTINGUISHED PANELISTS WHO ARE CELEBRATING THIS MARTIN LUTHER KING HOLIDAY OBSERVERS.

UM, I'M VERY THANKFUL FOR INVITING THIS OPPORTUNITY, UH, AND I APPRECIATE IT VERY MUCH.

BEFORE I START, LET ME, UH, SINCE WE ARE DEALING WITH, UH, HISTORY, BEFORE I START, UH, MY, UH, STORYTELLING ABOUT THE MARTIN LUTHER KING BOULEVARD, I, I JUST WANT TO ACKNOWLEDGE THIS YOUNG MAN ON MY LEFT.

AND THE REASON WHY I'M ACKNOWLEDGING HIM IS THAT I HAD THE OPPORTUNITY TO PASTOR HIS MOTHER AND HIS FATHER AND HIS AUNT AND HIS GRANDPARENTS, UH, WHEN I CAME TO WESLEY IN 1,973 TO PASTOR THE HISTORIC WESLEY UNITED METHODIST CHURCH.

AND IT'S AN HONOR FOR ME TO JUST SIT HERE TO WATCH THE TRANSITION OF THIS YOUNG MAN OVER THE YEARS OF 50 YEARS.

HE'S A, A GOOD FRIEND OF MY SONS.

BUT, BUT MORE THAN THAT, IT'S IMPORTANT FOR US TO RECOGNIZE THAT THE DIETRICH HOUSE IS SOMETHING FOR US TO RECOGNIZE HERE IN AUSTIN.

IN 1,928, THEY WERE THE FIRST PERSONS TO LIVE ON THE EAST SIDE.

SHORTLY THEREAFTER, THE DIETRICH FAMILY WERE LONGTIME MEMBERS OF WESLEY UNITED METHODIST CHURCH.

AND DURING THAT SAME PERIOD OF TIME, WESLEY UNITED METHODIST CHURCH WAS FORCED TO MOVE TO THE EAST SIDE.

THESE WERE EX-SLAVES, BY THE WAY, UM, WHO WERE ASKED TO TRANSITION FROM DOWNTOWN ON NATURE STREET HERE TO THE EAST SIDE BECAUSE OF POLICIES OF THE CITY OF AUSTIN.

BUT THE MOST INTERESTING THING IS THAT AS THEY MOVED IN 1928 WITH LESS EDUCATION, LESS WEALTH, THESE EX-SLAVES BUILT A PHENOMENAL ARCHITECTURAL CHURCH FOR $50,000.

CAN YOU IMAGINE THAT? IN 1,928, WITH THEIR FAITH, WITH THEIR DILIGENCE, THEY TOOK ON A TASK OF BUILDING A CHURCH, DOING THE DEPRESSION FOR $50,000.

I'M PROUD TO BE A PART OF YOUR LEGACY AND YOUR, YOU'LL HAVE MORE TO TELL YOU ABOUT THAT.

BUT I, I JUST WANTED TO BRAG ON HIM SO HE WOULDN'T HAVE TO SAY A WHOLE LOT ABOUT THAT.

UH, AND ALL THE REST OF THE PANELISTS WHO ARE HERE, LET ME, UH, BE ABOUT THE BUSINESS THAT I WAS ASKED TO DO IN 1,975, BUT LET ME GO BACK TO 1,973 BECAUSE I WON TO CONTEXTUALIZE THE NAMING OF THE STREET BECAUSE IT WAS IMPORTANT, ET CETERA.

BUT, BUT, BUT I NEED TO CONTEXT IT SO THAT YOU GET WHAT WAS HAPPENING.

WHEN I ARRIVED IN 1,973, THIS WAS THE SCENE IN AUSTIN, WILHELMINA DELCO, THE PRINCE OF THE PRINCESS OF EAST AUSTIN, WAS JUST RESIGNING FROM THE AUSTIN INDEPENDENT SCHOOL DISTRICT TO RUN FOR THE STATE REPRESENTATIVE POSITION.

THAT WAS A GREAT SIGN OF HOPE FOR US.

ALSO, DURING THIS PERIOD OF TIME, THE AUSTIN COMMUNITY WAS TRYING TO DEAL WITH THE LOSS OF ONE OF ITS MAJOR INSTITUTIONS, WHICH WAS ANDERSON HIGH SCHOOL.

ANDERSON HIGH SCHOOL WAS THE HEART AND SOUL OF EAST AUSTIN FOOTBALL, BASKETBALL.

THE MATTER OF FACT, UH, THE, UH, MEMBERS OF AUSTIN HIGH, UM, THE ANGLO AUSTIN HIGH DOWNTOWN KIND OF RESENTED AUSTIN ANDERSON HIGH SCHOOL BECAUSE ANDERSON HIGH SCHOOL WON ABOUT THREE

[00:20:01]

STATEWIDE CHAMPIONSHIPS TO THE FACT THAT AUSTIN HIGH WON NOT A SINGLE TROPHY AT ALL IN ANY RECOGNITION.

SO THAT WAS PART OF THE CLIMATE, UH, THAT WAS GOING ON IN AUSTIN DURING THAT PERIOD OF TIME.

AND SO, AS A RESULT OF THAT, MANY THINGS WERE GOING ON.

UM, ALSO, UH, DURING THAT TIME, UH, TRANSITION WAS HAPPENING WITH THE SCHOOL DISTRICT IN THAT BLACKS WERE BEING ASKED TO BE BUSED ACROSS TOWN WHILE THE MAJORITY OF STUDENTS WERE ABLE TO STAY IN THEIR OWN LOCALES.

SO I WALK INTO THIS KIND OF ENVIRONMENT, AND SO AS A METHODIST MINISTER, AND AS MOST MINISTERS, WE, UM, HAVE A, A A SENSE OF FREEDOM THAT OTHER PERSONS DO NOT HAVE.

NOW, WHAT IS THAT? WHEN YOU BEGAN TO LOOK AT MARTIN LUTHER KING, YOU BEGAN TO LOOK AT MARCUS GARVE.

YOU BEGAN TO LOOK AT KELLY MILLER SMITH, I'M, YOU BEGAN TO LOOK AT FRED SHUTTLESWORTH.

I'M NAMING ALL OF THESE PERSONS BECAUSE THEY WERE A PART OF THE CIVIL RIGHTS MOVEMENT.

BUT THE ONE THING THAT THEY HAD IN COMMON WAS THAT THEY HAD THE ABILITY TO BE FREE.

THEY HAD THE ABILITY TO SPEAK ON BEHALF OF THE PUBLIC.

THEY HAD THE ABILITY TO DREAM AND VISION AND MAKE THINGS HAPPEN, WHEREAS OTHER PERSONS WHO DESIRED TO DO THAT HAD REPERCUSSIONS BECAUSE THEY COULDN'T GET OFF FROM WORK.

SO IN THAT CONTEXT HERE, I WALKED TO WALK INTO AUSTIN AND I TAKEN AN OBSERVANCE AND I BEGAN TO LOOK AROUND AND I BEGAN TO SAY, WELL, WHY DO I FIND MY PLACE HERE IN AUSTIN WITH THIS HISTORIC CITY? AND I DECIDE THAT I WANTED TO DO SOMETHING.

SO I WAS A PART OF THE ELECTION OF WILHELMINA DELCO TO THE STATE LEGISLATURE.

AND MANY OF US FLOCKED TO HER, AND WE LOVED TO BE AROUND HER AND BEEN WITH HER.

AND SO WE WOULD OCCASIONALLY MEET AT OUR OFFICE.

SO THERE WAS A GROUP OF NINE OF US WHO, UH, DECIDED ONE DAY THAT WE WERE GONNA MEET AT OUR OFFICE, AND WE DECIDED TO DO SOMETHING.

SO THEY SAID, WELL, WHAT ARE WE GOING TO DO? SO I SAID, I DON'T KNOW.

SO THEN I THOUGHT FOR A WHILE AND SAID, YOU KNOW, THERE'S A MOVEMENT AFOOT THROUGHOUT THE NATION RIGHT NOW FOR NAMING STREETS AFTER MARTIN.

I SAID, SO LET'S DO SOMETHING DIFFERENT HERE IN TEXAS, AND PARTICULARLY HERE IN AUSTIN, AND LET'S TRY TO NAME THIS STREET.

SO WE DECIDED THAT WE WERE GOING TO DO THE NAMING OF THE STREET.

WE HAD NO IDEA REALLY OF WHAT WE WERE GETTING INVOLVED IN.

BUT, BUT, BUT WHAT WE DID WAS WE WENT AND FOUND OUT WHAT THE PROCEDURE WAS THROUGH THE CITY TO APPLY FOR THE NAMING OF A STREET.

AND ONCE WE FOUND OUT WHAT THE PROCEDURE WAS, WE THEN SET A FOOT TO FOLLOW THE PROCEDURE.

WE FOLLOWED THE PROCEDURE, FILED THE NECESSARY PAPERS, ET CETERA, AND WE GOT CONSIDERED FOR THE NAMING OF THE STREET.

MIND YOU, NOW, DURING THIS PERIOD OF TIME, IF YOU REMEMBER, IN MOST CITIES, THERE WERE MOVEMENTS BY GROUPS OF PEOPLE, LARGE STUDENTS, ADULTS, EVERYTHING MARCHING UP AND DOWN.

THERE WERE NO STUDENTS INVOLVED HERE FROM HOUSTON TILTS, AND THERE WERE NO STUDENTS INVOLVED HERE FROM THE COMMUNITY.

WE JUST DECIDED TO DO SOMETHING.

BUT, BUT IT WASN'T A MATTER THAT WE NEEDED THE MASSES TO GET THIS DONE.

WE JUST QUIETLY SAID, WE'RE GONNA DO SOMETHING THROUGH THE PROCESS, AND WE'RE GONNA SEE IF THE PROCESS WORKS FOR US WITHOUT US HAVING TO PROTEST.

SO WE WERE ACCEPTED IN THE PROCESS.

THERE ARE THREE READINGS THAT HAVE TO HAPPEN BEFORE ANYTHING IS LEGISLATED HERE IN THE CITY OF AUSTIN, ET CETERA.

SO WE STARTED THE FIRST PROCESS OF A HEARING OF ASKING THE CITY COUNCIL TO CONSIDER THAT.

AND WE, THROUGH THIS HEARING, UH, WE STARTED.

NOW, IF YOU NOTE ABOUT, AND I HAVE TO HURRY, IF YOU NOTE ABOUT MOST MARTIN LUTHER KING BOULEVARDS ARE ONLY IN THE BLACK COMMUNITY HERE IN AMERICA.

YES, SIR.

IF YOU GO 70 MILES TO SAN ANTONIO MM-HMM.

, IT'S IN EAST SAN ANTONIO.

IF YOU GO 200 MILES TO THE NORTH, IT'S IN DALLAS, TEXAS, BUT IT'S ALSO IN SOUTH DALLAS.

IF YOU GO TO THE EAST IN HOUSTON, YOU WILL FIND THAT THE MARTIN LUTHER KING BOULEVARD IS THERE AROUND DOWLING STREET, ET CETERA.

IF ANY OF YOU KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT, I'M TRYING TO GIVE YOU SOME LANDMARKS HERE THAT YOU WOULD KNOW.

UH, BUT, BUT NONE OF THE STREETS REALLY REPRESENT THE LIFE OF MARTIN LUTHER KING, WHICH WAS

[00:25:01]

INCLUSIVENESS, WHICH SPANNED THE WHOLE TIME.

SO WE DECIDED THAT WE WOULD TRY TO SEE IF WE COULD GET IT IN THE BLACK COMMUNITY, BUT IT WAS ELECTION TIME.

AND SO WE HAD SOME NEW ELECTORS THERE.

SO WHILE WE WERE TALKING ABOUT NAMING THE STREET, PRETTY MUCH STOPPING AT I 35, SOME OF THE NEWLY ELECTED OFFICIALS SAID, WELL, WHY DON'T YOU DO THE WHOLE THING? AND SO WE SAID, WE'LL GO ACROSS I 35 AND WE'LL SEE IF WE CAN GET THE WHOLE STREET NAMED AFTER HIM.

MIND YOU, NOW THERE WERE BUSINESS PERSONS WHO WERE ON THE WEST SIDE OF 19TH STREET, WHICH WAS AT THAT TIME, BUT THE MAJORITY OF THE LAND, AND THE PROPERTY WAS OWNED TO THE RIGHT, IF, IF YOU'RE GOING, UM, WEST BY THE UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS AND ON THE LEFT, IF YOU'RE GOING WEST, IT WAS OCCUPIED BY THE STATE OF TEXAS.

SO ALL OF THESE WERE STATE BUILDINGS.

SO WE PRETTY MUCH HAD THAT CARVED OUT.

BUT THERE WAS THIS LITTLE GROUP OF PROTESTORS.

SO, UM, IN THE MIDST OF ALL OF THIS, WE STARTED THE FIRST HEARING.

WE GOT DOWN TO THE SECOND HEARING, AND, UM, ONE OF THE PREEMINENT PERSONS HERE IN, UH, THE CITY OF AUSTIN CAME TO VISIT ME.

HIS NAME WAS DR.

JAMES SEABROOK, WHO WAS PRESIDENT EMERITUS OF HOUSTON TILL ITON UNIVERSITY.

HE AND ANOTHER GENTLEMAN CAME AND THEY SAT IN MY OFFICE AND THEY SAID TO ME, AND WE WERE PERSONAL FRIENDS, SAID TO ME, DIXON, WE KNOW YOU ARE UNDERTAKING TO NAME THIS STREET, BUT WHAT WE CAME TO SELL YOU IS WE ARE REPRESENTING SOME PEOPLE.

I SAID, WHO YOU REPRESENTING? I SAID, I KNOW WHO YOU'RE REPRESENTING, BUT I JUST WANT YOU TO TELL ME.

AND HE NEVER WOULD TELL ME.

HE SAID, WE, WE, WE, WE ARE SITTING HERE TO REPRESENT.

I SAID, WELL, I'M SITTING HERE TO REPRESENT TOO, SO WE'RE JUST REPRESENTING EACH OTHER.

SO HE SAID, UH, WHAT WE WOULD LIKE FOR YOU TO DO IS CEASE AND DESIST THE NAMING OF MARTIN LUTHER KING BOULEVARD.

I SAID, ARE YOU SERIOUS? I SAID, BROTHER, ARE YOU REALLY SERIOUS? HE SAID, WELL, I'M, I'M HERE.

AM I NOT REVEREND DEAR? I SAID, YES, YOU ARE.

I SAID, BUT WHAT YOU ARE DOING IS YOU ARE ASKING US TO STOP DOING WHAT WE ARE DOING AND ACCOMMODATE WHAT YOU ARE ASKING US TO DO.

IN THE MEANTIME, WE WERE GATHERING, HE LEFT BECAUSE I DIDN'T GIVE HIM THE ANSWER THAT HE WANTED.

BUT AS HE STOOD AT THE DOOR, I SAID THESE WORDS, DR.

SEABROOK, YOU WILL BE BACK TO MY OFFICE.

DR.

SEABROOK, I WILL WELCOME YOU WITH OPEN ARMS. THAT'S ALL I CAN TELL YOU.

NOW, I'M MUCH YOUNGER THAN YOU.

I MIGHT NOT BE AS MATURE AS YOU, BUT WHAT I DO KNOW, AS I STAND HERE AND AS I SHAKE YOUR HAND, AS YOU WALK OUT THIS DOOR, YOU WILL RETURN MIND.

YOU HERE LEFT IN THE PROCESS, WE WERE STILL RAMPING UP THE COMMUNITY TRYING TO RAISE MONEY.

SO I BROUGHT SOME ARTIFACTS ALONG WITH ME TO JUST SHARE WITH YOU.

UM, HERE, UM, I'M TAKING A LITTLE INTERMISSION IN THE MIDDLE OF WHAT I'M TRYING TO SAY IS THAT DURING THIS PROCESS, WE NEEDED TO RAISE SOME MONEY.

THERE WERE FOUR OF US OUT OF THE NINE THAT CONTINUED TO STAY WITH THE NAMING OF THE STREET ATTORNEY, JOE BENNETT, EVA LINDSEY CLEVELAND, I'M JEAN POLK AND MYSELF.

WE DECIDED TO RAISE SOME MONEY AND WE PUT ON A PROGRAM DOWN AT THE ROSEWOOD PARK.

I DON'T KNOW IF ANY OF YOU ARE FAMILIAR WITH ROSEWOOD PARK.

IT WAS QUITE A PARK BACK IN THE DAY, UH, FOR SLAVERY, ET CETERA.

AND WE INVITED ONE OF THE MAJOR PERSONS OF, UH, THE CIVIL RIGHTS MOVEMENT, PARTICULARLY IN CALIFORNIA.

AND MANY OF YOU MIGHT NOT KNOW HIM BECAUSE YOU WERE YOUNG, BUT HIS NAME WAS CECIL WILLIAMS. AND CECIL CAME TO SPEAK FOR US BECAUSE WE WERE ABLE TO CONTACT HIS SISTER, AND HE CAME FOR FREE.

AND SO WE HAD A BIG CELEBRATION IN THE MIDDLE OF TRYING TO, YOU KNOW, GET THE STREET NAME, ET CETERA.

AND SO AS A RESULT OF THAT, WE GOT TO THE THIRD READING.

I HAD A KNOCK ON MY DOOR, AND I WENT AND OPENED THE DOOR.

AND LO AND BEHOLD, THE SAME TWO GENTLEMEN THAT CAME WITH ME BEFORE WERE BACK AT MY DOOR.

AND WHEN THEY CAME IN, WE ONLY PASSED PLEASANTRIES AND SAID, NC,

[00:30:01]

HOW ARE YOU DOING? AFTER WE SAID THAT, I SAID, THE FINAL HEARING, DR.

SEABROOK, FOR THE NAMING OF THE STREET AND THE VOTING ET CETERA, WILL BE SOMETIME NEXT WEEK.

I WOULD LIKE FOR YOU, DR.

SEABROOK, TO BE THE LEAD OFF PERSON.

BLACKS WHO ARE RELIGIOUS PEOPLE FROM THE VERY BEGINNING, IF YOU KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT THAT, WE NEVER WOULD'VE MADE IT THROUGH SLAVERY IF WE HADN'T HAVE HAD A BELIEF IN GOD, IF WE HAD NOT HAD ANY FORGIVENESS IN OUR HEART.

IF YOU HAD NOT HAD ANY LOVE THERE, WE WOULD NOT BE WHERE WE ARE TODAY.

ARMING UP, GETTING MAD, STRIKING BACK, DOING A I FOR, I WOULDN'T HAVE MADE IT.

YES, SIR.

BUT IT WAS OUR ANCESTORS WHO SAID, GOD WILL TAKE CARE OF EVERYTHING.

WE DON'T NEED TO WORRY ABOUT BEING THE VINDICATES.

LET GOD DO THAT.

WHAT WE WILL DO IS OPEN OUR ARMS AND WELCOME AND LOVE YOU AND FORGIVE YOU.

SO WITH THAT, I SAID TO DR.

SEABROOK, YOU'RE WELCOME.

COME JOIN US.

WE'D BE GLAD TO HAVE YOU AS IT WOULD BE DR.

SEABROOK.

I I, I DON'T WANT TO BE THAT GRAPHIC TO YOU TODAY, BUT I DO HAVE SOME THINGS THAT I'D JUST LIKE TO SHOW YOU, UM, WHICH, UH, I'M JUST GONNA HOLD SOME PICTURES UP.

BUT DR.

SEABROOK JOINED ACCOMPANIED US TO THE FINAL READING OF THE NAMING AND THE APPROVAL OF MARTIN LUTHER KING BOULEVARD.

HE WALKED TO THE PODIUM, PUT BOTH HANDS OUT, GOT READY TO SPEAK, AND HE DIED.

NOW, WE DON'T KNOW WHAT THAT WAS ABOUT.

WE DON'T KNOW IF GOD SAID FOR HIM TO COME AND BE VINDICATED AND HE WAS FORGIVEN.

WE, WE, WE, WE HAVE NOT THAT IDEA.

ALL WE KNOW HE WAS THERE.

ALL WE KNOW, WE WELCOMED.

ALL WE KNOW IS HE JOINED US ALL.

HE, THAT'S, WE CAN SURMISE ALL WE WANT TO, BUT WE, WE, WE JUST DON'T KNOW.

BUT ONE OF THE FIRST OF THE SECOND COUNCIL LADIES WAS GIVING HIM RESUSCITATION THAT WAS OU LONG, WHO WAS A LONG TIME HISTORY PERSON.

BUT, BUT IT STUNNED ALL OF US.

LITTLE DID WE KNOW THAT THIS EVENT WOULD TAKE A TRAGIC TURN LIKE THIS, BUT THEN IT WOULD MAKE A MARTY OUT OF DR.

JJ SEABROOK.

THAT'S THE STORY OF HOW THINGS HAPPENED.

THESE ARE PICTURES.

UM, THIS IS JOE BENNETT, WHO WAS THE PRESIDENT OF THE AUSTIN BLACK ASSEMBLY.

THIS IS AM JEAN POPE, WHO WAS ALSO A MEMBER OF THE AUSTIN BLACK ASSEMBLY.

NOW YOU REMEMBER I MENTIONED TO YOU THAT THERE WERE FORCES THAT SAID WE DIDN'T WANT THE STREET NAME.

WELL, ONE OF THE FIRST MAYORS OF AUSTIN, TEXAS WAS A GENTLEMAN BY THE NAME OF ROY BUTLER.

THAT'S ROY BUTLER RIGHT THERE.

THIS GENTLEMAN WHERE MY FINGER IS.

CAN YOU SEE? THAT WAS HIS SUCCESSOR.

SO WHAT WE DID WAS WE DID A LITTLE POLITIC.

YOU KNOW, YOU HAD THE OLD GOING OUT THAT WANTED TO BE VOTED IN, AND YOU HAD THE NEW COMING IN THAT YOU WANTED TO BE VOTED IN AS WELL.

SO WE TOOK A CHANCE ON JEFF FRIEDMAN, WHO BECAME THE MAYOR TO SUPPORT US BECAUSE HE GAVE US THE VOTE FOR THE MARTIN LUTHER KING BOULEVARD.

SO THEN HERE ARE OTHER PICTURES, UM, THAT WE HAVE.

THIS IS THE CELEBRATION THAT WE HAD, ET CETERA, ET CETERA.

UM, A LOT OF YOU AND A LOT OF THE AUSTIN COMMUNITY DIDN'T REALLY REALIZE THE NAMING OF THE STREET.

ALL A LOT OF PEOPLE RECOGNIZED WAS THE FACT THAT THEY WERE DRIVING UP AND DOWN WHAT USED TO BE MARTIN 19TH STREET IN MARTIN LUTHER KING.

THERE WAS NO FANFARE, THERE WERE NO STUDENTS MARCHING, THERE WERE NO PROTESTS, QUIET PROTESTS, BUSINESS PERSONS IN WEST AUSTIN, BUT THEY WERE LESS THAN 30, ET CETERA.

SO MANY PEOPLE DIDN'T EVEN REALIZE HOW THE STREET CAME ABOUT.

SO THE UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS BACK IN NOVEMBER DECIDED THAT THEY, 50 YEARS LATER, THAT

[00:35:01]

THEY WANTED TO RECOGNIZE THE NAMING OF MARTIN LUTHER KING BOULEVARD.

AND THERE WAS A VIDEO MADE, SPEECHES MADE, ET CETERA, THAT ENDS THIS STORY HERE CUZ I DON'T WANT TO TAKE UP ANY MORE TIME.

BUT THE AUSTIN BLACK ASSEMBLY, PEOPLE SAY, WELL, WHAT HAPPENED TO IT? WELL, YOU KNOW, SOMETIMES IN LIFE YOU'LL ONLY DO ONE MISSION AND THAT'S YOUR LEGACY.

SO FOR US, THERE WAS NOT ANY CONTINGENT AS AN ORGANIZATION.

WE HAD ONLY ONE GOAL.

WE HAD ONLY ONE MISSION.

WE ACCOMPLISHED THAT GOAL, WE ACCOMPLISHED THAT MISSION AND WE DISBANDED.

THAT ENDS WHAT I HAVE TO SAY.

IF ANY OF YOU HAVE SOME QUESTIONS LATER ON, YOU CAN, BUT I DIDN'T WANT TO TAKE UP ANY TIME.

BUT OUT OF THIS EVENT, THAT WAS TRAGEDY.

BUT THERE WAS ALSO LOVE AND THERE WAS ALSO FORGIVENESS.

AND THAT'S WHAT THE WORLD IS ALL ABOUT, LOVE AND FORGIVENESS.

DR.

DIXON, YOU WERE GOING TO, UM, I GUESS FIRST WE JUST WANNA THANK YOU SO MUCH.

I DIDN'T KNOW WHETHER TO GO ANY FURTHER ON ANYTHING OR NOT, BUT, SO CUZ I WANTED TO GIVE THE REST OF THE PANELISTS AN OPPORTUNITY.

WE WANNA THANK YOU FOR THOSE PRECIOUS JEWELS OF PEARLS OF WISDOM, AND WE WANNA THANK YOU FOR STANDING ON THE FRONT LINE, UM, BRINGING US CHANGE TO AUSTIN.

AND WE WANNA THANK YOU FOR BEING HERE, BEING A PILLAR AND A PART OF HISTORY.

THANK YOU.

THANK YOU, DARWIN.

TAKE THE MIC AND GO FOR IT.

YES, CAN YOU HEAR ME OKAY? YEAH, IT'S ON.

ALL RIGHT.

SO MY PASTOR HERE ALREADY INTRODUCED ME, BUT LET ME SAY THIS.

I WAS BORN IN 1973 WHEN HE ARRIVED, HE GAVE YOU A LITTLE BIT ABOUT MY BACKGROUND.

I WAS BORN ON EAST 11TH STREET, NINE 16.

THE HISTORIC DERICK HAMILTON HOUSE IS AT NINE 12, WHICH IS ADJACENT TO IT.

THE REASON THIS HOUSE IS SIGNIFICANT IS BECAUSE BETWEEN 1873 AND 1875, IT WAS ACQUIRED BASICALLY DURING RECONSTRUCTION FROM A GENTLEMAN NAMED GEORGE W CHOBE, WHO WAS A UNIONIST WHEN THE STATE OF TEXAS WAS OCCUPIED DURING THE CIVIL WAR.

AND SO THE UNIONIST CHARGE WAS TO DISTRIBUTE LAND AND TO BUILD SCHOOLS, ET CETERA.

SO MY SECOND GREAT GRANDFATHER, THOMAS DEDRICK, WOULD BUY THIS PROPERTY WITH HIS BUSINESS PARTNER FOR AROUND $200 IN GOLD AS A DOWN PAYMENT AND A PROMISSORY NOTE TO BE PAID OFF WITHIN THE NEXT, I BELIEVE, TWO TO FOUR YEARS.

AND THE REASON THIS IS SIGNIFICANT IS BECAUSE DURING THIS TIME, ONLY WHITE MALES WHO WERE PROPERTY OWNERS COULD VOTE.

SO TO BUY PROPERTY IN THIS CITY OR ANYWHERE IN THE COUNTRY FOR AFRICAN AMERICANS IS SIGNIFICANT.

BUT ALSO THE FACT THAT THIS HOUSE WOULD BE PASSED DOWN FOR FIVE GENERATIONS TO ME.

SO I AM THE FIFTH GENERATION OF MY FAMILY.

MY SECOND GREAT-GRANDFATHER WOULD PASS THIS HOUSE DOWN TO THOMAS DEDRICK, WHO IS MY GRANDMOTHER'S FATHER, WHO YOU WILL SEE AS THE CENTERPIECE OF THE MURAL.

IF YOU'VE EVER VISITED THE SITE, THERE IS A MURAL OF A HUNDRED LEADERS IN THE CITY OF AUSTIN.

AND THE CENTER OF THAT IS A PORTRAIT OF MY GREAT-GRANDFATHER, THOMAS DEDRICK.

AND THE REASON, AGAIN, BECAUSE AS OFTEN WE CAN'T POINT TO A PLACE AND SAY THAT THIS IS THE ORIGIN OF MY FAMILY, AND THAT IS WHAT MAKES THE HOME SIGNIFICANT.

BUT ALSO THE FACT THAT THEY LIVED THERE DURING RECONSTRUCTION, LONG BEFORE THE 1928 MASTER PLAN WHERE I 35 WOULD CODIFY JIM CROW TO WHAT WAS CALLED A COUN FILE AND MASTER PLAN TO SEGREGATE AFRICAN AMERICANS EAST OF I 35.

WELL, DURING RECONSTRUCTION, AFRICAN AMERICANS BASICALLY REPRESENTED 36% OF THE POPULATION IN AUSTIN BEFORE THAT SEGREGATION.

SO MY FAMILY LIVED THERE LONG BEFORE THE FORCED MIGRATION AND SEGREGATION

[00:40:01]

OF EAST AUSTIN.

THEY LIVED THERE DURING THE GREAT DEPRESSION.

THEY LIVED THERE DURING THE CIVIL RIGHTS MOVEMENT.

AND WHICH BRINGS ME TO MY STORY OF, OF SELF.

SO IF YOU KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT AUSTIN AND EAST 11TH STREET, THESE WAR THRIVING BUSINESS DISTRICTS AND EAST 11TH STREET WAS NO DIFFERENT.

PROFESSOR ROLAND HAYES AT ACC WOULD ARGUE THAT IT WAS COMPARABLE TO TULSA, OKLAHOMA'S BLACK WALL STREET.

I MEAN, THAT'S WHAT AUSTIN WAS.

BUT OUT OF THIS FORCED SEGREGATION, WE BUILT SOMETHING THAT WAS BEAUTIFUL.

YOU DON'T OFTEN REALLY HEAR ABOUT WHAT THIS CITY WAS.

AND DURING THAT TIME, YOU DON'T REALLY HEAR A LOT ABOUT THE CIVIL RIGHTS ACTIVISM THAT HE JUST NARRATED.

YOU DON'T HEAR ABOUT IT.

BUT IT DID EXIST.

SOME PEOPLE THINK THAT AUSTIN DIDN'T HAVE A PLACE AT ALL IN THE CIVIL RIGHTS MOVEMENT.

UM, THERE'S EVEN NARRATION THAT BOOKER T WASHINGTON CAME HERE IN THE 1930S AND SPOKE AT REPUBLIC SQUARE.

SO WHEN I COME INTO THIS WORK, I WILL SAY THAT IT ISN'T YOUR COMMON NARRATIVE.

I WAS BORN AGAIN IN 1973.

WELL, EAST 11TH STREET, THEN WAS KNOWN FOR SOME NEFARIOUS ACTIVITIES.

HONESTLY, IF WE'RE JUST BEING FRANK, IT WAS KNOWN FOR PIMPING, PROSTITUTION AND DRUGS.

AS WITH MOST INNER CITIES, THERE'S POCKETS OF CRIME.

SO I CAME INTO THIS WORLD BASICALLY SEEING THIS OUTSIDE OF MY WINDOW, BUT ALL OF THE BEAUTIFUL THINGS THAT EXISTED TOO.

SO I JUST WANTED TO SHARE THAT I GOT INVOLVED WITH SOCIAL JUSTICE AND CRIMINAL JUSTICE ACTIVISM THROUGH MY OWN LIVED EXPERIENCE HAVING WOUND UP IN PRISON IN 1992 AT THE AGE OF 20.

AND I SPENT FIVE AND A HALF YEARS INCARCERATED AND MADE PAROLE IN MARCH OF 1998.

AND THEN I TRANSITIONED INTO STATE GOVERNMENT.

SO TODAY WOULD BASICALLY BE ABOUT 25 YEARS LATER UPON MY RELEASE.

AND SO TODAY I AM THE DIRECTOR OF FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT AND CFO FOR THE STATE OFFICER RISK MANAGEMENT.

BUT LET'S PAUSE.

I WANT YOU TO GIVE HIM A HAND.

SO I, I SAY THAT TO SAY THIS, THERE IS POWER IN TRANSFORMATION AND THE PUBLIC NARRATIVE OF STORYTELLING THAT YOU ARE ABOUT TO HEAR HERE TODAY.

WELL, ANYWAY, I GOT INVOLVED WITH SOCIAL JUSTICE CRIMINAL JUSTICE AROUND 2012, ABOUT A DECADE AGO BECAUSE I WANTED TO BASICALLY LEND MY GIFTS AND MY TALENTS, MY TIME, TALENT, AND TREASURE BECAUSE I KNEW THAT I HAD SOMETHING TO OFFER BY SHARING MY STORY WITH OTHERS TO INSPIRE OTHER FORMALLY INCARCERATED, DIRECTLY IMPACTED PEOPLE AND FAMILY MEMBERS TO REMOVE THE SHAME AND STIGMA THAT IS ASCRIBED TO THOSE OF US WHO HAVE BEEN INCARCERATED.

BECAUSE ALL TOO OFTEN IT IS BASICALLY ASCRIBED TO US THAT WE ARE NOT SUPPOSED TO BE INTELLIGENT, ARTICULATE, OR SOPHISTICATED.

AND SO I AM A LIVING REFUTATION AGAINST ALL OF THAT.

IN 2016, A SMALL NUMBER OF US ORGANIZED IN PARTNERSHIP WITH THE CAMPAIGN BY A FORMER COUNCIL MEMBER CRAIG KASSAR, FOR FAIR CHANCE HIRING, WHICH BASICALLY MEANT THAT WE WOULD REMOVE THE BOX ON THE APPLICATION, HAVE YOU BEEN CONVICTED OF A FELONY? AND A CONDITIONAL LAWFUL WOULD BE MADE TO A PERSON WITHOUT ASKING THESE QUESTIONS.

SO A BAND OF US WENT TO CITY HALL, WE TESTIFIED, WE SHARED OUR STORIES.

AND ONE OF THE THINGS I SAID TO THAT TEN ONE COUNCIL WAS, YOU WILL NOT ALWAYS BE A MEMBER OF THIS DIOCESE AND NO ONE KNOWS THEIR DESTINY, AND YOU ARE POSSIBLY MEMBERS OF YOUR FAMILY WILL MAKE A MISTAKE, BE ARRESTED AND YOU WILL WISH, HOPE OR PRAY THAT YOU HAD MEN AND WOMEN LIKE US ADVOCATING FOR YOUR OPPORTUNITY.

SO WHAT YOU SHOULD DO IS USE YOUR LEADERSHIP AND THIS, THIS OPPORTUNITY TO DO SOMETHING TRANSFORMATIONAL.

AND WHAT THEY DID WAS PASS THAT ORDINANCE BASICALLY WITH TWO MEMBERS ABSTAINING.

AND SO AUSTIN, TEXAS WOULD BECOME THE FIRST CITY IN THE SOUTH THAT WOULD PASS A FAIR CHANCE HIRING BAN THE BOX ORDINANCE FOR FORMERLY INCARCERATED PEOPLE TO HAVE THE OPPORTUNITY AT EMPLOYMENT.

AND MIND YOU,

[00:45:01]

OUR OPPOSITION WERE POWERFUL PEOPLE WHO WERE ATTORNEYS WHO WERE A PART OF PUBLIC POLICY FOUNDATIONS.

BUT AGAIN, IT IS THAT POWER OF PUBLIC NARRATIVE AND STORYTELLING THAT AFFECTS AND CHANGES THE HEARTS AND MINDS OF PEOPLE.

AND WE RECOGNIZE THIS THROUGH SOME OF OUR GREATEST OR RAIDERS LIKE DR.

MARTIN LUTHER KING, UM, ALL OF THE OTHERS.

MARTIN LUTHER KING, MALCOLM X, UM, MARCUS GARVEY, STOKLEY CARMICHAEL, THERE ARE, THERE ARE A NUMBER OF THEM.

ANGELA DAVIS.

YES.

SO THAT IS, UM, WHAT I WANTED TO SHARE.

THEN ALSO HERE IN 2019, WE LAUNCHED A CAMPAIGN TO ESTABLISH A PUBLIC DEFENDER'S OFFICE BECAUSE LIKE I SAID, MY GOAL IS TO FIGHT FOR THE DIRECTLY IMPACTED.

AND SO AUSTIN, TEXAS IS THE ONLY, WAS IT THE ONLY MAJOR METROPOLITAN CITY THAT DIDN'T HAVE A PUBLIC DEFENDER'S OFFICE TO REPRESENT INDIGENT DEFENSE.

SO AGAIN, A BAND OF US INSERTED OURSELVES INTO THE PROCESS AT COMMISSIONER'S COURT, AND I WAS A PART OF THAT INDIGENT LEGAL WORKING GROUP.

SO TODAY WE HAVE A PUBLIC DEFENDER'S OFFICE, AND I WAS A PART OF THE BOARD THAT BASICALLY BROUGHT THE FIRST BLACK WOMAN TO THE CITY TO BE OUR CHIEF PUBLIC DEFENDER.

HER NAME IS OLA ADI YOUNG K.

SO THESE ARE SOME OF THE ACCOMPLISHMENTS IN A PART OF MY WORK HERE IN THIS CITY.

THANK YOU.

IF, IF I MIGHT, IF I MIGHT, UM, MRS. WILLIAM ASKED ME TO KIND OF SAY A LITTLE BIT, BUT I WAS CONCERNED ABOUT TIME, SO I DIDN'T WANT TO SAY ANYTHING.

BUT TO BACK UP YOUNG, MR. DARRIN, WHOM I'M SO PROUD OF BECAUSE HE'S KIND OF FOLLOWING IN MY FOOTSTEPS.

AND I JUST WANNA SAY THAT ONE OF THE THINGS THAT I TRIED TO DO TO THE YOUNGER GENERATION IS TO SHOW LEADERSHIP.

AND YOU DON'T ALWAYS HAVE TO BE AN ELECTED OFFICIAL TO MAKE THINGS HAPPEN.

SO HERE IN AUSTIN, BACK IN THE EARLY SEVENTIES AND EIGHTIES, A LOT OF THINGS HAPPENED.

UH, FOR EXAMPLE, THERE CAME AN URBAN LEAGUE, FOR EXAMPLE, THERE CAME A NATIONAL BUSINESS LEAGUE, UH, WHICH WAS A PART OF BOOKER T WASHINGTON.

AND ALSO, UH, WE HAD THE AFRICAN AMERICAN CHAMBER OF COMMERCE, WHICH IS RIGHT NEXT DOOR TO THE YELLOW HOUSE THAT HE IS, WHICH I WAS A PART OF.

BUT I WANT TO GO BACK AND TALK A LITTLE BIT AND SHARE THAT WITH DARWIN, THE STREET THAT HE LIVED ON WAS THAT THERE WAS A GROUP OF US IN 1,980 WHO WANTED TO DO SOMETHING ABOUT 11TH STREET.

AND ONE OF THE THINGS THAT WE WANTED TO DO, WE WANTED TO DO THE CLEANUP, THE OPPORTUNITY FOR BLACK FOLK TO REALLY DO DEVELOPMENT.

BUT AS IT ALWAYS IS, IN AUSTIN, THERE IS ALWAYS A KIND OF A, A TUG OF, UH, I DON'T CALL IT WAR, BUT, BUT, BUT, BUT THERE IS, ON ONE HAND, THE CITY OF AUSTIN IS VERY NICE.

ON THE OTHER HAND, THE CITY OF AUSTIN CAN BE VERY, VERY ROUGH ON YOU.

AND THAT'S BECAUSE THE POLICY.

SO REALLY THE MINORITY COMMUNITIES IN AUSTIN HAVE HAVING A VERY GOOD, A VERY HARD TIME TRYING TO DO ANYTHING BECAUSE OF THE POLICIES.

AND THAT'S WHAT, THAT'S WHAT DAR IS TALKING ABOUT HERE IN AUSTIN, IS THAT THE POLICIES OF SUCH THAT WE HAVE TO FIGHT THE POLICY FIRST BEFORE YOU CAN GET ANYTHING DONE.

SO THERE WAS A SITUATION WHERE THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT GAVE A MILLION DOLLARS TO THE CITY OF AUSTIN TO, UH, FIX UP THE STATE CEMETERY, WHICH IS RIGHT THERE ON 11TH STREET.

THE BLACK COMMUNITY AND THE HISPANIC COMMUNITY COULD NOT GET TOGETHER ON WHAT TO DO WITH THAT MONEY BECAUSE THEY DIDN'T WANT THAT MONEY GOING TO CLEAN UP THE CEMETERY.

SO THE CITY OF AUSTIN THEN DECIDED THAT HE WAS GOING TO GIVE THE AFRICAN AMERICAN COMMUNITY $700,000 AND IT GAVE THE GUADALUPE NEIGHBORHOOD ASSOCIATION $600,000 AND FOR AN APPEASEMENT BECAUSE LADY BIRD DID NOT.

AND BOB BULLOCK, I MEAN, AND JAKE PICKLE DID NOT WANT TO GET INVOLVED IN THE LOCAL POLITICS WITH THESE MINORITY GROUPS.

SO IN THE PROCESS OF DOING THAT, THERE WAS THIS MONEY ON THE TABLE.

SO THERE WAS A GROUP OF US IN 1,980 GOT WITH THE UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS GRADUATE, WHO'S A SAN ANTONIO, UH, FELLA.

AND WE DECIDED THAT WE WANTED TO DO SOMETHING WITH THIS MONEY TO CLEAN UP 11TH STREET.

UM, BUT IN THE MEANTIME, WHILE WE WERE TRYING TO GET THE MONEY TOGETHER TO CLEAN UP 11TH STREET, GET A PROPOSAL, THE CITY OF AUSTIN WAS BUYING UP ALL OF THE PROPERTY

[00:50:01]

ON 11TH STREET.

DID YOU HEAR WHAT I SAID ABOUT POLICY? SO IF THE CITY GOT AHEAD OF US WITH THE POLICY, THAT MEANT THAT THE CITY CONTROLLED THE ABILITY TO ZONE AND DO WHATEVER THEY WANTED TO DO WITH THAT.

SO THEREFORE, WE TRIED TO CREATE A NEIGHBORHOOD CONSERVATION DISTRICT, WHICH ALLOWED FOR ALL TYPES OF ZONING, HIGH RIDE BUILDING, SINGLE FAMILY HOMES, ET CETERA.

SO WHILE WE WERE GETTING THIS PASSED, THE CITY WAS VERY HAPPY BECAUSE WE WERE DOING WHAT THE CITY WOULD'VE HAD TO DO, BUT THE CITY HAD ALREADY BOUGHT UP THE PROPERTY.

SO THEN WHEN WE BROUGHT THIS PLAN TO TRY TO RECTIFY THE CITY, THE CITY ALREADY OWNED MUCH OF THE PROPERTY.

AND DARING CAN SEE HERE, THIS WAS DONE IN 1,980 BY NAEL HAYWARD WHERE WE, THAT IS THE COMMUNITY DECIDED THAT WE WANTED TO, UM, CLEAN UP THE STREET.

SO WE HAD TO COME UP WITH A MASTER PLAN TO PRESENT TO THE CITY.

SO, OH, HERE WE ARE.

DAR CAN YOU HOLD THAT UP THERE, DARRIN, SHOW 'EM WHERE THE CHUCK WAGON IS.

THAT'S WHERE THE WELLS FARGO BANK IS RIGHT NOW.

AND DARWIN'S HOUSE IS RIGHT IN THAT SAME AREA.

SO YOU COULD SEE WHAT WE WERE PROPOSING TO DO WAS TO CLEAN UP THIS AREA.

BUT IN THE PROCESS OF DOING THAT, THE CITY HAD ALREADY BOUGHT UP, SOLD THE PROPERTY.

SO THIS PLAN BY AFRICAN AMERICAN TO REALLY DO SOMETHING IN THEIR NEIGHBORHOOD WAS THWARTED BY THE CITY.

NOW THE CITY IS COMING BACK WITH TWO LOTS RIGHT THERE ON 11TH STREET TO TRY TO HAVE THE BLACK COMMUNITY TO DEVELOP THE TWO LOTS.

BUT THE MAJORITY OF THE STREET IS NOW OWNED BY THE CITY.

AND BASICALLY A LOT OF ANGLO COMPANIES, WHICH IS TO OUR DISMAY.

AND I'M JUST SHOWING YOU HOW SOMETIMES WE CAN BE SO FAR AFFRONT THAT THE, AS MY DADDY WOULD SAY, THAT PEOPLE MISTAKEN US FOR THE ENEMIES.

AND HERE WE WERE WAY OUT FRONT, BUT AT THE SAME TIME, THE CITY WAS CIRCLING THE WAGON ON US TO MAKE SURE THAT IT OWN THE PROPERTY.

SO WHEN YOU LOOK AT 11TH STREET RIGHT NOW, WHICH IS THERE, MOST OF THE PROPERTY ON 11TH STREET IS OWNED BY THE CITY OF AUSTIN.

YES.

THAT BISHOP AUSTIN DISTRICT CENTER HAVE THAT INFORMATION.

NO SIR.

ALL OF THIS I NEED TO GET, I NEED TO WRITE A BOOK, BUT ALL OF THIS INFORMATION IS WHY I'M TELLING YOU THIS IS BECAUSE THIS INFORMATION HAPPENED, BUT IT DIDN'T MAKE THE HEADLINES.

A LOT OF AFRICAN AMERICANS DON'T EVEN REALIZE WHAT WAS GOING ON BECAUSE WE WORKED SO SMOOTHLY.

THAT IS TO WHAT I DID THEN .

YEAH, I DIDN'T, I DIDN'T WORK, YOU KNOW, WHERE WE HAD TO HAVE MARCHING, ET CETERA.

WE LEFT THAT, AND DARWIN CAN SAY THAT TO DOTH TURNER, VELMA ROBERTS, LINDA LEWIS, AND I GOT TO SAY A LOT ABOUT DR.

JOHN WARFARE, WHO AT THE SAME TIME WE WERE CREATING THE URBAN LEAGUE WAS WORKING TO MAKE AUSTIN BETTER.

AND HE CREATED, ALONG WITH THE GROUP, K A Z I, THE RADIO STATION THAT YOU NOW LISTEN TO.

NOW, IN THE MIDST OF ALL OF THIS, AUSTIN HAS A HISTORY OF GREAT BRUTALITY.

AND DAR CAN SAY THAT BECAUSE RIGHT UP THE BLOCK FROM HIS HOUSE IN THE EARLY SEVENTIES, THERE WERE TWO REAL OUTRIGHT MURDERS DONE.

ONE WAS RIGHT THERE WHERE I SHOWED YOU WHERE THE LITTLE SIGN SAID THE CHUCK WAGON, THAT'S WELLS FARGO BANK RIGHT THERE NOW.

BUT RIGHT AT THAT CHUCK WAGON SPOT, IF DAR DARWIN WAS STILL YOUNG, BUT I KNOW HE STILL REMEMBERS THAT THERE WAS A CHOKE HOPE DONE SIMILAR TO YEARS AGO OF THE CHOKE COAT THAT WAS DONE BY THE POLICE FORCE IN NEW YORK CITY BECAUSE DURING THE SEVENTIES THEY CREATED THIS CHOKE HOPE FOR INCORRIGIBLE PEOPLE WHO WERE CAUSING VIOLENCE, ET CETERA.

THEY WOULD, YOU KNOW, DO SOMETHING TO YOUR THROAT AND THEY KILLED A PERSON, A MAN RIGHT THERE ON THE SPOT.

THERE WAS ANOTHER INCIDENT DURING THIS PERIOD OF TIME OF BRUTALITY THAT WAS DONE OUT ON MAINER ROAD THAT WAS AN AFRICAN AMERICAN, AN AFRICAN REALLY AFRICAN, WHO WAS IN A DOMESTIC SITUATION WHERE THE POLICE WERE CALLED.

AND AS A RESULT OF THAT, HE WAS ON A WATERBED.

THEY CAME IN, FACED HIM DOWN AND SMOTHERED HIM TO DEATH.

SO WHEN I BEGAN TO SAY THAT WHILE WE WERE DOING POSITIVE THINGS WITH POLICIES AND TRYING TO DO THAT, THERE WAS THE OTHER SIDE OF AUSTIN THAT WAS DOING STUFF TOO TO THE BLACK COMMUNITY.

SO MUCH OF WHAT YOU SEE AND WHAT MUCH OF WHAT YOU HEAR IS TALKED ABOUT, BUT IT'S NOT REALLY EXPRESSED BECAUSE THERE WAS A LOT OF BRUTALITY THAT WENT ON ON BEHALF OF THE POLICE DEPARTMENT HERE

[00:55:01]

IN THE CITY OF AUSTIN.

SO WHEN PEOPLE MARCH AND THEY BEGAN TO TALK, IT'S REAL.

SO WE HAVE TO THANK DARTHY TURNER, VELMAN ROBERTS, LINDA LEWIS, JOHN WARFIELD, AND THE BLACK CITIZENS TASK FORCE WERE ON THE OTHER HAND KEEPING ALIVE THE LIVES OF PEOPLE HERE IN AUSTIN.

WE DIDN'T SAY IT BACK THEN CUZ IT WASN'T THE SLOGAN, BUT BLACK LIVES DO MATTER AND BLACK LIVES HAVE BEEN A PROBLEM HERE IN THE CITY OF AUSTIN BECAUSE OF ITS POLICIES.

THANK YOU DOCTOR.

THANK YOU REVEREND DIXON.

THANK YOU DARWIN.

WE HAVE, UM, UH, CARRIE, COME AHEAD.

NOBODY'S GETTING A MIC, BUT YOU GO AHEAD REVEREND DIXON, I JUST THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR THIS HISTORY AND STORYTELLING.

UH, MY NAME'S CARRIE BRANNAN, I WORK FOR THE CITY AND AS DIRECTOR WEEKS JUST ASKED, WOULD IS IT, DOES, DO WE KNOW THIS? HAS THIS BEEN SHARED BEFORE? I'M WONDERING IF YOU WOULD BE WILLING TO SHARE THAT, UH, EITHER WITH THE EQUITY OFFICE, DEFINITELY FOR OUR HOUSING AND PLANNING SO THAT WE CAN CONTINUE TO LEARN.

WE'RE GETTING READY TO LAUNCH A CITYWIDE TRAINING CALLED BEYOND BIAS.

AND THAT WOULD BE A PHENOMENAL STORY FOR ALL OF THE EQUITY CHAMPIONS TO REALLY BE ABLE TO SAY THAT THIS BIAS WAS OCCURRING EVEN RECENTLY, NOT JUST FROM 1928.

YOU KNOW, WE'RE COMING UP ON A CENTURY OF THE, UH, MASTER PLAN, WHICH DIVIDED RACIALLY DIVIDED OUR CITY.

AND THAT WAS POWERFUL INFORMATION WHERE WE CAN CONTINUE TO LEARN AND GROW AS A CITY AND AS A COMMUNITY.

I'D BE HAPPY TO, YOU HAVE TO REMEMBER THAT WE'VE COME 50 YEARS, SO MOST OF MY COMRADES, LIKE HIS DADDY AND HIS MOTHER, WHO WERE AROUND AT THAT TIME ARE NO LONGER HERE.

AND SO I'M KIND OF LEFT AS A LONE, WHATEVER YOU WANT TO CALL IT, KINDA STORYTELLER TO KEEP THIS INFORMATION.

AND I DON'T MIND SHARING THAT, BUT IT'S A LOT MORE THAT WE COULD SHARE THAT ALL WE GET IS THE HIGHLIGHTS OF THE URBAN LEAGUE, THE HIGHLIGHTS OF THE DIETRICH HOUSE, THE HIGHLIGHTS OF MARTIN LUTHER KING BOULEVARD.

BUT, BUT WE DON'T GET THE OTHER STUFF THAT IS THE REAL NITTY GRITTY STUFF THAT REALLY WENT ON THAT ALL OF US WERE A PART OF PERIOD, THE TIME THAT KEPT AUSTIN ALIVE AND KEPT AUSTIN MOVING.

THANK YOU.

THANK YOU.

YOU'RE UP NEXT.

I KNOW THAT'S A HARD I KNOW, THAT'S I KNOW, I KNOW.

I WOULDN'T, I WOULDN'T THE GO BEHIND.

YEAH.

I MEAN, WHAT A HARD ACT TO FOLLOW.

I MEAN, THANK YOU REVEREND DIXON AND THANK YOU DARWIN.

I'M GLAD AT LEAST I'M GOING BEFORE DR.

PUI AND SA PAUL.

BUT, UM, I'M LIN LEE.

I'M THE FOUNDER OF BRAVE COMMUNITIES AND IT'S A LOCAL NONPROFIT HERE IN AUSTIN THAT STANDS FOR BUILDING RELATIONSHIPS, AWARENESS VOICES AND ENGAGEMENT.

AND SO, UM, WE'VE GOT KIND OF TWO TRACKS.

WE DO A LOT OF YOUTH EMPOWERMENT PROGRAMS, SO WE EMPOWER TEEN GIRLS IN THE LOCAL AREA AND ALSO WASHINGTON HEIGHTS, NEW YORK THROUGH A VIRTUAL PROGRAM.

UM, AND THEN WE ALSO HOST COMMUNITY, UM, CONVERSATIONS.

AND NOW WE'RE TRYING TO INCORPORATE IT WHERE THE TEEN GIRLS CAN BE THE ORGANIZERS AND FACILITATORS FOR THESE CONVERSATIONS.

BUT ACTUALLY DAR ONE OF OUR FIRST, UM, COMMUNITY CONVERSATIONS THAT WE HAD IN 2016 WAS, UM, WITH OUR PANELIST, ESTEEMED PANELS OF DARWIN HAR, UM, SPEAKING ABOUT THE CRIMINAL JUSTICE REFORM.

UM, SO REALLY, I DON'T EVEN KNOW HOW TO FOLLOW THAT.

UM, SO , SO OUR, MY STORY IS, AND, UM, WHY IT'S SO IMPORTANT TO CARRY ON THE LEGACY OF, OF MLK AND MARK, UM, IS, YOU KNOW, I I HAD A VERY INTERNATIONAL AND GLOBAL PERSPECTIVE.

I DID A LOT OF INTERNATIONAL WORK AND ACTUALLY HAD A TRAVEL COMPANY, UM, KIND OF INSPIRED BECAUSE OF NINE 11 AND THE, UM, THE, LIKE THE NEGATIVITY AND THE SOCIAL, THE MEDIA THAT CAME OUT OF NINE 11 AND THE HATE OF, OF DIFFERENT CULTURES.

SO IT INSPIRED ME TO START A COMPANY AND THEN LATER, UM, I, UH, I, UM, STARTED TRANSITIONING INTO DOING YOUTH LEADERSHIP AND SOCIAL CHANGE PROGRAMS FOR SOME STATE DEPARTMENT PROGRAMS AND HELPED DESIGN THOSE YOUTH LEADERSHIP PROGRAMS. AND I WAS LIVING IN AUSTIN AT THE TIME IN 2000, SINCE 2001, BUT I WAS GLOBAL A LOT.

AND SO I THINK IT WAS UNTIL 20 15, 20 16 WITH, UM, YOU KNOW, UH, TR UM, MIKE BROWN BEING SHOT.

AND I LIVED IN ST.

LOUIS FOR A COUPLE YEARS, FREDDIE GRAY BEING MURDERED.

AND I WAS BORN AND RAISED IN MARYLAND.

AND, YOU KNOW, I THINK THE CHOKE HOLD OF, OF ERIC GARNER, THAT TIMEFRAME ALL WAS WHEN I WAS LIKE, WOW, THERE'S A LOT GOING ON DOMESTICALLY IN

[01:00:01]

MY OWN NATION AND MY OWN BACKYARDS THAT I WANT TO BE MORE AWARE OF.

AND SO I COMPLETELY STOPPED THE INTERNATIONAL PIECE OF GETTING PEOPLE TO TRAVEL ABROAD AND REALLY WANTED TO FOCUS ON, UM, ON, YOU KNOW, MYSELF AND, AND ALSO ON WHAT WAS GOING ON NATIONALLY.

AND SO THAT'S KIND OF HOW BRAVE GOT FOUNDED.

AND SO NOW IT'S JUST BEEN A JOURNEY OF REALLY THEN BEING ABLE TO PASS ON THE BATON TO THE NEXT GENERATION.

SO WE DO WORK WITH, UM, TEEN GIRLS RIGHT NOW AND WE HOPE TO EXPAND THAT, UM, IN THE NEAR FUTURE.

GO HERE BROTHER JAMES.

DO THIS THE EASY WAY.

CAN Y'ALL HEAR ME? UH, MY NAME'S JAMES LESI AND UM, SAME WITH LIN.

I'M LIKE, WHY AM I HERE? BUT, UM, UH, MISS CARMA KIND OF HAS ME HERE TO, I MY AREA OF WORK IS WHERE BEEN IN, UH, RELIGIOUS DIVERSITY, RELIGIOUS AND WORLDVIEW DIVERSITY.

I WORKED AT ST.

EDWARDS UNIVERSITY AND THEIR CAMPUS MINISTRY SUPPORTING STUDENTS FROM ALL VARIOUS RELIGIOUS TRADITIONS AND VERSIONS OF CHRISTIANITY AND SUCH LIKE THAT.

AND I CURRENTLY ALSO DO WORK FOR A LOCAL GROUP CALLED INTERFAITH ACTION OF CENTRAL TEXAS, WHICH HAS BEEN IN, UH, THE AUSTIN AREA FOR CLOSE TO 50 YEARS NOW.

UM, AND THEY DO SEVERAL PROGRAMS SUCH AS THE THE RED BENCH, WHICH IS AN INTERFAITH DIALOGUE, UH, MONTHLY PROGRAM THAT MOVES AROUND AT DIFFERENT VARIOUS FAITH COMMUNITIES AND CONGREGATIONS.

THEY, UH, DO A PASSPORT PROGRAM WHERE THEY GIVE PEOPLE A CHANCE TO VISIT DIFFERENT FAITH COMMUNITIES EACH MONTH FOR DEVELOP RELIGIOUS LITERACY.

UH, THEY ALSO DO WORK WITH HOUSING, WHICH IS SORT OF LIKE A HABITAT TYPE OF BUILDING PROGRAM IN SUPPORTING DIFFERENT GROUPS WITHIN THE AUSTIN AREA.

UM, AS I WAS TRYING TO THINK ABOUT WHAT I MIGHT SAY TODAY, UH, PARTICULARLY AS WE THINK ABOUT DR.

MARTIN LUTHER KING AND I, I ALWAYS TRY TO REMEMBER THE PEOPLE I WORK WITH, THAT HE WAS THE REVEREND DR.

MARTIN LUTHER KING, UH, WHICH IN OUR SECULAR SOCIETY, THAT PART OF HIS, UH, BACKGROUND AND WHO HE WAS IS OFTEN NOT SPOKEN TO, WHICH IS IRONIC CUZ THAT WAS AT THE HEART AND CORE OF WHY HE GOT UP IN THE MORNING AND DID ANYTHING THAT HE DID.

HE WAS A DEEP MAN OF FAITH.

HE WAS, UM, AND MANY OF THOSE SPEECHES YOU SEE HIM GIVING WERE THEY WERE AT PODIUMS IN, IN, OR, UM, YOU KNOW, IN CHURCHES.

THEY WEREN'T AT A PUBLIC PODIUM.

SO, UM, BUT I HAD TO GO BACK AND READ HIS LETTER OF THE BIRMINGHAM JAIL BECAUSE HE WAS WRITING THIS TO ME AND TO OTHERS WHO PRESENT LIKE ME AS A WHITE CISGENDER MALE OF CHRISTIAN CATHOLIC PRIVILEGE.

UM, AND HOW DO WE IN THIS DAY AND AGE, PARTICULARLY IN FAITH COMMUNITIES, SPEAK TO, UH, THE WORK THAT KING REALLY WANTED TO PROMOTE? AS REVEREND DIXON ALWAYS HAS ALREADY MENTIONED MANY TIMES, HIS ETHIC WAS OF LOVE.

AND THAT CAME OUT OF HIS UNDERSTANDING OF THE GOSPELS AND THE, AND THE, THE TRADITIONS.

AND HE ACKNOWLEDGED THAT GOD WAS PRESENT IN ALL RELIGIOUS TRADITIONS AND THAT, YOU KNOW, WE WERE ABOUT AN ETHIC OF LOVE.

AND THAT WAS, YOU KNOW, HE LEARNED VERY EARLY FROM GANDHI AND HIS, YOU KNOW, AND VISITED INDIA TO LEARN ABOUT THIS, YOU KNOW, UH, NONVIOLENCE.

BUT NONVIOLENCE WAS NOT NON-CONFRONTATIONAL.

CONFRONTATION IS NOT A BAD THING.

UM, HE JUST PROPOSED TO DO IT IN A WAY THAT WAS NON-VIOLENT.

CUZ I THINK DEEP IN, IN HIS UNDERSTANDING OF THE HUMAN PERSON, UM, EVEN THOSE THAT ARE OPPRESSING ARE STILL CREATED IN THE IMAGE OF GOD AND HIS UNDERSTANDING OF THE WORLD.

AND AT SOME POINT, HOW DO WE, HOW DO WE LIVE TOGETHER AND, AND LOVE AND FORGIVENESS AND UNDERSTANDING.

UM, BUT YOU KNOW, THERE'S A LONG ROAD TO HAUL BEFORE THAT.

UM, BUT KING WAS VERY INVOLVED IN INTERFAITH, UH, WORK.

UH, HE, YOU KNOW, SUPPORTED BY RABBI HECHE VERY MUCH SO.

HE, UH, DID WORK WITH FNA KHAN, WHO'S A VIETNAMESE BUDDHIST MONK, YOU KNOW, ADDRESSING THE VIETNAM WAR.

AND HE EVEN, HE EVEN SAID THAT, YOU KNOW, THE, THE VIETNAMESE BUDDHIST MONKS THAT WERE SELF EMULATING THEMSELVES, BURNING, PUTTING, SETTING THEMSELVES ON FIRE IN PROTESTS OF THE VIETNAM WAR, WERE DOING THE SAME WORK THAT, UH, CHRISTIAN AND MUSLIM, UH, BLACK COMMUNITIES WERE DOING IN THE UNITED STATES.

AND AS I THINK ABOUT THAT WORK, UH,

[01:05:01]

I THINK THAT'S THE WORK THAT'S STILL GOING ON TODAY WHEN WE THINK ABOUT, UH, RELIGIOUS DIVER AND WORLDVIEW DIVERSITY IN OUR, YOU KNOW, IN OUR COUNTRY, IN OUR STATE.

YOU KNOW, I, I THINK ABOUT, UH, AS A, AS A ROMAN CATHOLIC, AS A WHITE ROMAN CATHOLIC, UM, DO I, I THINK ABOUT, UH, ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS ON THE SOUTHERN BORDER, OR AM I THINKING ABOUT BROTHERS AND SISTERS, YOU KNOW, IN THE CATHOLIC COP PENTECOSTAL FAITH? YOU KNOW, ARE THEY MY BROTHERS AND SISTERS OR AM I CATEGORIZING THEM AS SOMETHING? HOW DO I VIEW THE HUMAN PERSON? AND HOW DOES THAT IMPACT OUR, YOU KNOW, OUR UNDERSTANDING OF POLITICS IN THE WORLD? YOU KNOW, UH, AUSTIN IS NOT IMMUNE FROM RELIGIOUS BIGOTRY.

AND I WOULD SAY SO MUCH OF THE RELIGIOUS BIGOTRY IN OUR WORLD IS RACIALLY BASED AND CENTERED AS WELL.

UM, JUST OVER A YEAR AGO WE HAD A, A, A JEWISH SYNAGOGUE.

SOMEONE TRIED TO SET IT ON FIRE.

WE HAD PEOPLE, YOU KNOW, OVER I 35 HANGING SIGNS, YOU KNOW, ANTI-SEMITIC SIGNS.

WE HAD THE LAKE TRAVIS MOSQUE ABOUT FIVE OR SIX YEARS AGO AS IT WAS BEING BUILT, WAS BURNED TO THE GROUND.

THE TEXAS HALEL, THE JEWISH STUDENTS CENTER, THE FIRST DAY THEY OPENED, UH, SEVERAL YEARS AGO, THEY HAD A SWASTIKA PAINTED ON THE FRONT DOOR, THREE SYNAGOGUES IN SAN ANTONIO IN ONE SUMMER, HAD SWASTIKAS.

YOU KNOW, THIS TYPE OF HATE THAT'S BASED ON RELIGION IS ALIVE AND WELL.

AND I THINK THAT WOULD'VE GRIEVED KING, AND I THINK THAT WAS THE WORK THAT HE UNDERSTOOD WAS PART OF THIS.

UM, I ALSO THINK AS A, AS A WHITE CATHOLIC, THERE'S A FAMOUS PHOTO OF, UM, UH, FATHER MALLOY WHO WAS THE PRESIDENT OF NOTRE DAME COLLEGE.

UM, AND THEY'RE, HE'S HAND IN HAND WITH, UH, UH, DR.

KING WHEN HE WAS IN CHICAGO.

IT'S A GREAT PHOTO, MAKES IT REALLY LOOK LIKE CATHOLICS WHO ARE KIND OF JUMPING ON BOARD.

UNFORTUNATELY, FATHER MALLOY WAS THE ONLY CATHOLIC PRIEST IN THE AREA OF CHICAGO THAT WOULD BE, WOULD PARTICIPATE IN THAT STRUGGLE.

UH, CATHOLICS ARE VERY LATE IN THE GAME AND WERE VERY MUCH PART OF THE, UH, PUR YOU KNOW, THE CONTINUATION OF OPPRESSION, PARTICULARLY I, AS I SAID, AS A WHITE CATHOLIC, I THINK IN THE STATE OF TEXAS WHERE THE HISPANIC LATINX CHURCH IS GONNA BE PREDOMINANTLY, UM, THE CATHOLIC CHURCH IS GONNA BE PREDOMINANTLY HISPANIC AND LATINX, BUT THE, THE LEADERSHIP IS STILL VERY WHITE.

HOW'S THAT? HOW'S THAT GONNA LOOK MOVING FORWARD AS WE KEEP GOING? HOW DO WE EVEN BEGIN TO THINK ABOUT THESE QUESTIONS? AND I THINK THAT'S ALL PART OF THE LEGACY OF WHAT, YOU KNOW, UH, DR.

KING WAS TRYING TO GET US TO BE THINKING ABOUT, UH, THAT THERE'S AN INTERCONNECTEDNESS BETWEEN ALL THESE INCIDENTS OF OPPRESSION, ALL THESE INCIDENTS THAT DIMINISH THE HUMAN PERSON, BOTH IN HOW WE TREAT THE HUMAN PERSON AND HOW IT IMPACTS THE HUMAN PERSON TO DIMINISH THEIR SENSE OF THEIR OWN SELF.

CUZ WHEN COMMU, WHEN YOU'RE BEATEN DOWN LONG ENOUGH, YOU START TO BELIEVE THINGS.

YOU KNOW, IF YOU'RE PUT IN A SITUATION, YOU CAN VERY EASILY BELIEVE THINGS, WHICH AGAIN, IS DESTROYING THE IMAGE OF GOD.

AND FROM MY, MY WORLDVIEWS IS HOW I VIEW THAT.

SO I THINK, UM, THIS, YOU KNOW, THE, THE WORK OF, UH, FAITH COMMUNITIES IS VERY IMPORTANT IN THIS WORK BECAUSE WE'RE REALLY GETTING TO HOW WE VIEW THE HUMAN PERSON.

UH, I ALWAYS SAY I LOVE THE UNITED NATIONS DECLARATION OF UNIVERSAL RIGHTS.

VERY POWERFUL PIECE OF WRITING IS SUCH, BUT IT IS ONLY AS STRONG AS THE SIGNATORY NATIONS PEOPLE CAN BACK OUT OF THAT.

IT CAN BE DISMISSED TOMORROW WITH THE RIGHT VOTE.

UH, FOR ME, I HAVE NO CHOICE.

MY FAITH TELLS ME THAT WE ALL ARE CREATED AN IMAGE OF GOD, WHETHER I MAY LIKE THAT OR NOT, ON A PARTICULAR DAY.

UH, THAT'S WHO I SAY I AM.

AND SO THAT'S WHY, THAT'S HOW I HAVE TO ORIENT MY LIFE.

AND I THINK THAT'S PRETTY CONSISTENT AMONG MANY OF THE, THE FAITH TRADITIONS OF THE WORLD.

SO, UM, IT'S A COMMUNAL, YOU KNOW, WE LIVE IN COMMUNITY WITH EACH OTHER.

UM, AND THAT'S, I THINK THIS IS HOW WE HAVE TO MOVE FORWARD.

SO I'LL STOP THERE.

THANK YOU.

AND LAST BUT NOT LEAST, AND, AND WE WILL TRANSITION INTO HIS LIVE PERFORMANCE.

UH, THE GREAT, THE WONDERFUL, THE MIGHTY SAW PAUL.

ALL RIGHT.

WOW.

THIS HAS BEEN A, UM, POWERFUL PANEL.

THANK YOU REVEREND DIXON FOR WHAT YOU SHARED.

I TOOK NOTES LITERALLY, AND I PICKED UP ON WHAT YOU WERE PUTTING DOWN, UM, IN REGARD TO LIKE, THERE'S SO MANY DIFFERENT WAYS TO MAKE CHANGE.

IT REALLY STOOD OUT.

LIKE YOU COULD EVEN DO IT QUIETLY, NOT BEING SO UPFRONT OR

[01:10:01]

THIS, THAT, AND THE THIRD.

BUT THAT REALLY SPOKE TO ME ABOUT, CAUSE THE GOAL IS THE GOAL.

UH, I KNOW DARWIN, WE'RE BOTH A PART OF AN ORGANIZATION CALLED JUST LEADERSHIP.

UH, WELL THE MOTTO IS THOSE THAT ARE CLOSEST TO THE PROBLEM, UH, ALSO CLOSEST TO THE SOLUTION.

WE BOTH SHARE, UH, THE LIVED EXPERIENCE OF INCARCERATION AND WHATNOT.

UM, IN ADDITION, HE'S JUST A SMOOTH FELLOW.

GIVE IT UP FOR DAR ONE MORE TIME.

UM, WHAT I LEARNED FROM LIN IS TO BRING A LOT OF BOOKS, BUT THEN DON'T TALK ABOUT 'EM.

.

OH, IS THAT RIGHT? SHE JUST MAKES STUFF HAPPEN.

SO THAT GOES BACK TO REVEREND DIXON.

YOU THINK SHE HAD NO REASON BEING UP HERE, BUT THE TRUTH IS SHE IS QUITE THE CHANGE MAKER.

UH, AND THANK YOU DOCTOR.

THANK YOU FOR, UM, UH, SPEAKING SO BOLDLY ON FAITH.

UM, I THINK MANY PEOPLE, SO THE PROMPT IS HOW ARE WE CONTINUING? LIKE, HOW AM I CONTINUING DR.

KING'S WORK? UH, I THINK IT AMA IT AMAZES ME.

I DON'T THINK MANY PEOPLE KNOW THAT DR.

KING WAS ACTUALLY CHRISTIAN.

LIKE THAT'S WHAT THE DOCTORATE WAS IN LIKE, LIKE, LIKE STRAIGHT UP.

IT'S LIKE PEOPLE WHO MAY BE, UH, LIKE, UH, YEAH, MOST PEOPLE DON'T GET THAT.

HE WAS A CHRISTIAN, HE WAS A BELIEVER.

UH, SO I WANTED TO SHARE A FEW THINGS ABOUT DR.

KING.

DID YOU KNOW THAT HIS FIRST NAME WAS NOT ACTUALLY MARTIN AND HIS NAME WAS MICHAEL? SO I RELATE TO HIM BECAUSE MY NAME, I GO BY SAUL PAUL, BUT MY BIRTH NAME IS TOTALLY DIFFERENT.

I GO BY SAUL PAUL, BECAUSE IT COMES FROM THE BIBLE.

THE APOSTLE PAUL BEFORE HIS NAME WAS PAUL, HIS NAME WAS SAUL.

UH, SAUL HAD AN INTERACTION WITH