Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Community Engagement & Free Black History Month Program in Austin, Texas

Cougars understand that "to whom much is given...much is required" or, as I like to say, "You must pay the taxes on your title." After family, community service is my preferred way to pass it forward. Last year, I launched a community service initiative called Austin's Black Newcomers Association (ABNA), in my new hometown, Austin, Texas. The population of African-Americans in Austin has declined from a high of 15% to less than 7% in the past decade. ABNA's mission is to help newcomers quickly become engaged with the community, thus improving their quality of life. We started ABNA with a website portal that gives newcomers a comprehensive list of business resources and civic/cultural organizations at www.austinsblacknewcomers.org. On February 26, 2011, we are hosting the first of many culturally sensitive programs. This free event is a Black History Month Celebration, as well as, our Official Launch. Below is an article about our efforts that ran in Todo Magazine last week!

What are YOU doing to make your city a better place to live? Pay the taxes on your title and reap the dividends of a positive, happy community.

Ref: TODO Austin // FEB 2011 // TODOaustinonline.com p.07
Empowerment Experiment Founder Maggie Anderson to Speak at Black History Month Program

The Austin Black Newcomers Association (ABNA) is an organization which fosters community engagement by providing culturally sensitive programs and a network of supportive relationships for emerging leaders. Additionally, they offer a web directory of local organizations to enhance new Austin residents’ personal and professional lives.

The ABNA will celebrate Black History Month with a free program featuring a keynote speech by Margarita Anderson, co-founder of the Illinois-based Empowerment Experiment (EE). The event’s theme is “Still Dreaming: Sustaining the Black Community with Service and Activism.” The event will be held at the Lady Bird Auditorium at the LBJ Museum and Library on Saturday, February 26, 2011 at 1:00 p.m. Austin City Council Member Sheryl Cole is also scheduled to speak.

ABNA President and Founder Dr. Monica Anderson (no relation) says, “The mission of our organization is to motivate Austin’s new residents to become actively engaged in this vibrant and historic city that welcomes people of all ethnicities. This event is designed to acquaint everyone with our community service initiative and inspire them to get involved because one person or one family can make a difference.”

The title sponsor for the event is The University of Texas at Austin’s Division of Diversity and Community Engagement (DDCE). Maggie Anderson will also give an on-campus lecture to UT students during her tour visit to Austin at the invitation of Professor Juliet Walker. Other major sponsors are IBM and the National Black MBA (Association) Austin Chapter.

The event is free but attendees must register for a ticket online at http://abnaee-esli.eventbrite.com.
For more information about the event or the Austin Black Newcomers Association, please visit http://austinsblacknewcomers.org.
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