By David Nungaray
We marched along Martin Luther King Jr. Drive. As I walked with my friends from Teach For America I felt an incredible energy from seeing thousands of people in our city continue the tradition that celebrates Dr. King’s legacy and contributions to today’s generation. Even in the crowd of over 175,000, I ran into students and parents from my first year of teaching, and I began to think about the power of our city when it comes together. When I first came to San Antonio, I was told time and time again that we were a big city with a small town feel and this was exactly what rang true to me as I walked the route.
You could not help but feel the richness in the culture and pride of the East Side. With folks wearing shirts saying “I am the East Side” and many of the local congregations bringing joy to the streets with their music, I was reminded of the movement happening in the East Side Promise Neighborhood. Through my masters’ program at Trinity University, I have had the opportunity to learn alongside six incredible women who work in San Antonio ISD, bringing us closer to collaboration and transformation in our schools. It is individuals such as these peers that bring hope to our city being closer to reaching its full potential. We are all on a journey that was started years ago and it is times such as the march that reminds us of our responsibility to serve others.
The weekend before the march, I finally had the opportunity to watch the acclaimed movie by Lee Daniels, The Butler, and I could not shake the emotions that came from knowing that not too long ago people were being ostracized, beaten, and even killed in their pursuit of ensuring all of us had the rights we deserve. Heroes such as the Freedom Riders faced horrific prejudice as they worked towards justice. Even as I walked by a large banner that stated “Man + Woman = Marriage” along the march route (which I had a tough reaction to as a gay man), I saw clearly that our fight for our rights is not over, nor will it be an easy path.
Since the march, I continue to ask myself what Dr. King states is life’s most persistent and urgent question, “What am I doing for others?” New Year’s Day may have come and gone, yet the beauty of resolutions is that they can happen at any given moment we choose. We can answer Dr. King’s question and resolve to be of service to others.
SA2020 continues into its fourth year and there is much progress that has been made. Yet there is still work to be done. By watching individuals, business, and organizations step up to the plate, I see that we all have something to contribute. It is clear that we are all a valuable part of our city, of our community, and of the history we are writing day after day.
Whether we decided to engage through our votes, through running for elected office, or by being part of our local community associations, there is something we can all do to be more civically engaged, more that we can do to answer Dr. King’s question. You can check out just a few of the ways you can be involved here.
Through my work with Teach For America and in San Antonio ISD, it is clear that education will play a major role in helping our city become the best that it can be. I personally resolve to become more educated and aware of the elections that are coming up this year. I choose to actively inform the people around me about the issues that are on the table as well.
Whatever you choose to do will be enough, so join me along with many others in our city to take a step closer to our vision of 2020. Resolve to be a part of the incredible change happening in our city. Let us continue on the path to pursue justice for all because together we are stronger.
If you want to sign up to follow an SA2020 Resolutions Leader in Civic Engagement and make your own Resolution, you can find them here >>