Saturday, February 06, 2016


UTSA students to participate in 50th anniversary of Civil Rights Act

civil rights trip

CaShonda Henderson and Brianna McCormick during UTSA Civil Rights Exploration Trip.

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(July 1, 2014) -- This week, three UTSA students will travel to Washington D.C. to attend a special day-long commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The Office of Civil Rights in the U.S. Department of Education will host the event.

Brianna McCormick, a junior multi-disciplinary studies major, CaShonda Henderson, a senior biology major, and Claudia Sanchez, a graduate student in Political Science, will join college students from across the country, civil rights professionals, seasoned grassroots civil rights leaders, journalists and elected leaders at the special event.

"This is a once in a lifetime opportunity," said Henderson. "I know this experience will add fuel to my everyday fight for civil rights and social justice. I hope to learn from the personal stories of the activists attending this trip, and to use their examples as tools through which to educate myself and others."

The students will also interact with senior Obama Administration officials and more than half a dozen of the original Freedom Riders, activists who spearheaded the 1960s Freedom Rides. The Freedom Rides aimed to eliminate racial segregation in interstate transportation.

"I look forward to hearing the stories of what the civil rights activists of the 1960s went through to pave the way for where we as a society are today," said McCormick. "I come from a parent and family that grew up during the Civil Rights Movement, and I have an aunt and two uncles who actively participated in it. Being able to gain a deeper understanding about what they went through and relate that to my own story is an opportunity and experience for which I'm grateful."

Earlier this year, the U.S. Department of Education put out a call to hundreds of universities looking for up-and-coming student civil rights activists and leaders, student artists and student filmmakers.

McCormick, Henderson and Sanchez were chosen to take part in the event by a national selection committee from among thousands of applicants because of their dedication to civil rights leadership, their community leadership experience and their participation in UTSA's annual Civil Rights Exploration Trips.

"I'm very glad that these students will represent UTSA for this special and important commemoration," said Yvonne Peña, assistant dean of students and director of the UTSA Student Leadership Center, which hosts the Civil Rights Exploration Trip. "They are remarkable leaders in the community, and their passion for social justice, service and civil rights is inspiring."

The Civil Rights Act of 1964, enacted into law by the 88th U.S. Congress, outlawed discrimination base on race, color, religion, sex or national origin in several areas including housing, employment and education. It legally ended racial segregation in schools, at the workplace and public accommodations and also ended unequal application of voter registration requirements.


For more information about the UTSA Student Leadership Center, visit To learn more about the UTSA Civil Rights Exploration Trip, visit or contact the Student Leadership Center at 210-458-7967 or visit University Center Room 2.01.04.

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Feb. 5, 6:15 p.m.

First Friday Stargazing

The UTSA Department of Physics and Astronomy's Curtis Vaughan Observatory will offer free stargazing for the public beginning on top of the 4th floor of the Flawn Science Building. Experienced astronomers will be on hand to show a variety of astronomical objects and answer any questions. This event is free and open to the public, so feel free to invite friends and family.
Curtis Vaughan Observatory

Feb. 6, All Day

10th annual San Antonio Writing Project Teachers' Conference

This year's keynote speaker is Donalyn Miller, author of The Book Whisper. The event will feature breakout sessions and a presentation by the Creative Writers from North East School of the Arts. The event is free and open to all teachers from Pre-K through university level. Attendees can earn a certificate for 3 hours of Professional Development Credit.
Riklin Auditorium (FS1.406), Downtown Campus

Feb. 9, 11 a.m. - 1 p.m. & 6 - 9 p.m.

Rowdy Gras 2016

The UTSA community is invited to attend the 3rd annual Rowdy Gras celebration! This year Rowdy Gras includes a daytime event from 11 a.m. -1 p.m. with a free food tasting and music on the UC Paseo. The main event takes place from 6 - 9 p.m. in the UC Lawn. The event includes free food, live jazz music, activities and giveaways.
University Center Paseo & Lawn, UTSA Main Campus

Feb. 10, 5:30 p.m.

UTSA College of Architecture, Construction and Planning 2015-16 Speaker Series

The UTSA College of Architecture, Construction and Planning’s 2015-16 Speaker Series continues with Dana Cuff, Ph.D., a professor of architecture and urbanism at the University of California, Los Angeles. In her talk, Cuff will discuss new forms of “studio” and new types of practices. Free and open to the public.
Aula Canaria Lecture Hall (BV 1.328), UTSA Downtown Campus

Feb. 13, 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.

29th annual Asian Festival - Year of the Monkey

The UTSA Institute of Texan Cultures invites Texas and Texans to the Asian Festival. What began as a traditional family reunion for the Chinese New Year has expanded to include other Asian communities and participants, showcasing their unique culture and traditions.
The UTSA Institute of Texan Cultures

Feb. 13, 1 p.m.

2016 Interdisciplinary Studies Colloquium

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Business Building (BB 2.06.04), UTSA Main Campus

Feb. 23, 5:30 p.m.

African-American Social Welfare Pioneers Responding to Community Needs

The UTSA College of Public Policy presents the Dean's Distinguished Lecture Series featuring Dr. Iris Carlton-LaNey, Professor of the School of Social Work at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. Dr. Iris Carlton LaNey will speak to the UTSA community about the role and impact of African-Americans in the social work profession.
Buena Vista Theater (BV 1.326), Downtown Campus

Feb. 23, 7 p.m.

Presentation and Book Signing with Luis Carlos Montalvan

Please join us for a presentation and book signing by Luis Carlos Montalván (Fmr. Capt., USA), author of the New York Times Bestseller Until Tuesday and the international award-winning childrens book Tuesday Tucks Me In. His books will be available for purchase at the UTSA Bookstore. This event is free and open to the public.
Southwest Room (DB 1.124), Downtown Campus

Feb. 25, 6 p.m.

12th Annual Black Heritage Gala

The 12th Annual Black Heritage Gala is a formal event which includes a student performance, keynote remarks by Michael Brown, an award presentation, dinner and dancing. Tickets are $10 for UTSA students and $15 for all other guests. Tickets are on sale now at Roadrunner Express. Contact (210) 458-4770 for more information.
H-E-B University Center Ballroom, Main Campus

Feb. 27, 9 a.m.

Cultural Contrasts in Latin America

The UTSA Institute of Texan Cultures will host a free workshop focusing on teaching Latin American culture and geography for students seeking their teacher certification. The workshop includes free resources for teaching Latin American subject matter as well as presentations on language, identity, music, geography, and political and developmental history, and a special educators’ tour of the museum’s Los Tejanos exhibit. Free with registration.
The UTSA Institute of Texan Cultures (ITC 3.01.02)

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