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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Community historians

An update from Tim, a sophomore accounting major:

The Jubilee Park center is a community renewal initiative in the Fair Park neighborhood in East Dallas. In 1997, St. Michaels and All Angels Episcopal Church chose this area as the site for a community center that would create “a thriving and sustaining community where people love to live.” The church built this community center as a way of marking its 50th anniversary – their jubilee.

Through Professor DeTemple’s Latino/a Religions class, I have learned about Latino religiosity and the ways in which it manifests. The Jubilee Park center, a religiously based organization devoted to civic engagement, is an example of this.

Our assignment regarding the center is to delineate and synthesize information of the center and the neighborhood – its history, its mission and its role in Dallas today. My group is focused on the history of the neighborhood before 1997. For our research, we have spoken with older residents of the neighborhood and a Dallas historian, and have looked over old records of the area via the Dallas Public Library.

This project is tremendously fascinating and, in my opinion, what college is all about – learning completely new things and becoming engaged with one’s community.

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