Latino/Latina Religions 2012, Dallas

The students in the Cultural Formations/Religious Studies course Latino/Latina Religions are conducting research on the history of the Walt Humann and T. Boone Pickens Community Center at Jubilee Park and its surrounding neighborhood. The center, near the Fair Park area of Dallas, was founded by Saint Michael and All Angels Episcopal Church in 1997 and serves a diverse population. Through their research, students hope to learn more about the ways religious organizations impact local communities, and about the changing landscapes that have formed Dallas over the years. At the culmination of the project in December, students will present their findings in a presentation at the Jubilee Park Center, www.jubileecenter.org

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A community pre-1997

An update from Abi, a junior music performance major:

This fall I have been involved with a project centered on a community in Fair Park called Jubilee Park.  My group was assigned the pre-1997 history of the park. The class is called Latino/Latina Religions and is taught by Professor Jill DeTemple. To be honest, I had absolutely no clue what the class would entail and certainly never imagined a research project on a Dallas community!

The class has been very enlightening, and I have been privileged to be able to speak to some of the people who live in the community around Jubilee Park.  They are tied closely to the ideals of the park and the programs that it offers.  At David’s Place, children up to age 3 are prepared for elementary school and given the tools to develop educationally before they enter school.  The children growing up in the surrounding community find a haven at the park – whether it is through the after-school program, playing soccer in a competition, or simply having a nice meal to eat.  The staff and those who volunteer at the park are qualified and compassionate toward those they serve.

With all of the amazing aspects of the park in its present state, it is hard for me to imagine what it was like for the residents in the area before the park existed. Much of my research has been based on the history before 1997. My goal is to be able to gain an even deeper understanding of those who are, in essence, Jubilee Park.

Through my research of the immediate area, it is clear that there is rich history found in just the street names.  You would be surprised to know the background of Congo Street, which is included in Jubilee Park’s vicinity.  This wonderful park has been an answer to many people’s problems and has reached into an existing community.  Jubilee has given the community something else to be proud of.

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