Engage Dallas proudly present Phase II of the Engage Dallas Resource Libraries. Our Engage Dallas Research Assistants, Shelby Peck and Cristal Mendez have done it again! Back in September we announced Phase I, which encompasses all common-specific social problems and offers a self-paced, deeper learning experience through four different categories.
Mendez, ‘22, a graduate student in the M.Ed. in Higher Education program shares that Phase II differs significantly from Phase I because the focus is truly just South and West Dallas so various local sources had to be researched, evaluated, and synthesized for the creation of Phase II while Phase I was a bit broader. Through this research opportunity, one valuable takeaway for Mendez was the importance of learning about the history of her community, as she is a resident of West Dallas.
We invite you to journey with us through time. Phase II presents a chronological dive into the history of South and West Dallas. Our trip commences in the year 1865 and we progresses forward until we are back in 2021. We cover topics very familiar like the State Fair of Texas and maybe some that are less familiar, like the contributions of Felix H. Lozada, Jr. As you journey through the timeline, you will be able to read a short highlight about the event and then click into it to learn even more. You may also choose to “hop through history” and follow the timeline of specific events and see how they are connected through history.
Peck ‘21, an undergraduate student studying Public Policy and Political Science, found this research opportunity particularly valuable because she was given the freedom to dive deeper into many diverse subjects in Dallas history, painting a realistic picture of South and West Dallas history as a whole. She was able to draw connections between this research and her future career goals by studying how federal policies and court decisions, like Brown v. Board, were enacted in Dallas, and how individuals were uniquely affected by them.
If asked to leave you with one thought before your journey through time, it would be:
“Learning about the history of South and West Dallas can be difficult because of the inequities that have existed since the beginning. However, our West and South Dallas neighbors possess experiences, skills, and knowledge that contribute to their community’s cultural wealth. I hope you will be inspired by the community advocates that have shaped their communities.” -Mendez ‘22
“Everywhere you look in Dallas there is a story that has been hidden by Dallas’ ever-changing and developing nature. If you look beyond the beautiful skyline and new construction, you will see even more beauty amongst the unique stories and histories of the individuals that shape our city.” -Peck ‘21
We invite you to spend some time unpacking local Dallas history. We acknowledge that history is steadily unfolding around us as more stories are being told and memories recollected. The resource library is not intended to discuss every historical occurrence of South and West Dallas, as much of their history is still being uncovered and collected. The resource library is a living source and will evolve as more history is discovered.