Kwanzaa 2019 in United States

Observance: Thursday, December 26 through Wednesday, January 1, 2020

Article Submitted by Dr. Lavern J. Holyfield, Multicultural Social Engagement Partnership (MSEP) Commissioner

Kwanzaa is a week-long pan-African holiday created by Dr. Maulana Karenga, a professor of Africana Studies, in 1966.  Observed in the United States and other nations of the African diaspora in the Americas from December 26 to January 1, this annual celebration honors African heritage in African-American culture.    Dr. Karenga envisioned it as a time to reflect the  best of African thought and practice in its reaffirmation of the dignity of the human person in community and culture, the well-being of family and community, the integrity of the environment and our kinship with it, and the rich resource and meaning of a people’s culture.

The focus of this period is the celebration of family, community, and culture.  Activities during this period are organized around the Seven Principles (pictured below). During the seven days, participants celebrate with feasts, music, dance, poetry, and narrative.  Kwanzaa has seven core principals and seven core symbols:

Day Seven Core Principles, or Nguzo Saba Seven Core Symbols
12/26 Umoja: Unity – To strive for and maintain unity in the family, community, nation, and race. Mazao: Crops – Mazao symbolizes the fruits of collective planning and work, and the resulting joy, sharing, unity and thanksgiving part of African harvest festivals. 
12/27 Kujichagulia: Self-Determination – To define ourselves, name ourselves, create for ourselves, and speak for ourselves. Mkeka: Place Mat – Just as the crops stand on the mkeka, the present day stands on the past. The mkeka symbolizes the historical and traditional foundation for people to stand on and build their lives.
12/28 Ujima: Collective Work and Responsibility – To build and maintain our community together and make our brothers’ and sisters’ problems our problems and solve them together. Muhindi: Ear of Corn – The stalk of corn represents fertility and the idea that through children, the future hopes of the family are brought to life. One vibunzi is placed on the mat for every child in the family.
12/29 Ujamaa: Cooperative Economics – To build and maintain our own stores, shops, and other businesses and to profit from them together. Mishumaa Saba: The Seven Candles – Candles are ceremonial objects that serve to symbolically re-create the sun’s power, as well as to provide light. There are three red candles, three green candles, and one black candle that are placed on the kinara.
12/30 Nia: Purpose – To make our collective vocation the building and developing of our community in order to restore our people to their traditional greatness. Kinara: The Candleholder – The kinara represents our ancestry, and the original stalk from which we came.  
12/31 Kuumba: Creativity – To do always as much as we can, in the way we can, in order to leave our community more beautiful and beneficial than we inherited it. Kikombe Cha Umoja: The Unity Cup – On the sixth day, the libation ritual is performed to honor the ancestors. Every family member and guest will take a drink together as a sign of unity and remembrance.
01/01 Imani: Faith – To believe with all our heart in our people, our parents, our teachers, our leaders, and the righteousness and victory of our struggle.   Zawadi: Gifts – On the seventh day of Kwanzaa, gifts are given to encourage growth, achievement, and success. Handmade gifts are encouraged to promote self-determination, purpose, and creativity.

There are seven candles – one black candle, three red candles, and three green. Each represents one of the seven principles guiding Kwanzaa. They are placed in the mishumaa saba in a specific order.

The holiday ends with a day dedicated to reflection and recommitment to the Seven Principals and other central cultural values, culminating in gift-giving and a feast.  

The Seven Principles
Mishumaa Saba (The Seven Candles)
These are symbolic of the Nguzo Saba, the Seven Principles, the matrix and minimum set of values which African people are urged to live by in order to rescue and reconstruct their lives in their own image and according to their own needs.

Source:  The OfficialKwanzaaWebsite.org (http://www.officialkwanzaawebsite.org/index.shtml)
(https://www.interexchange.org/articles/career-training-usa/history-principles-and-symbols-of-kwanzaa/)

The Duncanville Multicultural Social Engagement Partnership (MSEP) is a commission that serves under the City Council and is charged with:

  1. Establishing a partnership with the community to have the most engaged citizenry in America
  2. Develop an image as a family-oriented community locally and regionally
  3. Develop a brand for the community focusing on the goal of “Duncanville is the Basketball Capital of Texas” and leveraging this brand to enhance sports tourism
  4. Develop ways to engage citizens between 18-30 years of age to become more engaged in Duncanville
  5. Promote citizen participation and engagement in government; and to foster cooperative relationships among diverse citizens in order to fulfill the needs and desires and Duncanville’s diverse community

Congratulations to the 2019 Leadership Academy Graduates

Congratulations to the 2019 Duncanville Leadership Academy graduates! Fourteen Duncanville city employees from various departments graduated from the City’s annual Leadership Academy on Wednesday, December 11, 2019. The purpose of the Leadership Academy is to recognize and develop upcoming leaders amongst the staff who exhibit qualities of integrity, accountability, empathy, humility, resilience, vision, influence and positivity.

2019 Duncnaville Leadership Academy Graduates

Members of the 2019 Duncanville Leadership Academy

  • Esther Wright, Senior Code Enforcement Officer
  • Jose Torres, Crew Leader Streets
  • Stephanie Lott, Librarian
  • Duaine Mayo, Police Officer
  • Christopher McCaleb, Police Lieutenant
  • Ronald Wilcots, Police Lieutenant
  • Richard Jones, Fieldhouse Operations Supervisor
  • Derrick Downs, Crew Leader Utility Billing
  • Daisy Guillen, Court Clerk
  • Mike Forester, Crew Leader, Irrigation
  • David Dunn, Assistant Utilities Operations Manager
  • Angelica Garcia, Building Inspections Coordinator
  • Ervey Morales – Skilled Maintenance Worker Parks
  • Jimmy Shelley – Maintenance Worker Streets

The Leadership Academy is a one-year program that meets monthly for leadership training, which also includes city-related topics such as Introduction to City Values and Culture, Community Engagement, Council Relations, Strategic Planning, etc. Midway through the program, academy members divide into three groups and select a city-related project they are responsible for researching, developing, and implementing. The group projects for the 2019 academy program include:

  1. City University – Establish and implement a city-wide training and development program for employees
  2. Senior Center Expansion – Research and recommend expanded programs/services for the Duncanville D.L. Hopkins Jr. Senior Center
  3. Employee “Walk In Your Shoes” Day – Create a program where employees rotate through departments/divisions to learn/observe what each department does in the city

Welcome Sister City Guests from Monasterolo di Savigliano

Be sure to give a warm welcome to our Sister City guests from Monasterolo di Savigliano, Italy.    The group of 25 Italians will be in Duncanville from October 16 through October 24 and will stay with host families for the 10-day visit. We will share our Community, culture and heritage, as well as give the delegates a tour of several significant Dallas-Fort Worth attractions and eateries.

This visit marks the 21st Anniversary of our friendship.  Monasterolo di Savigliano is located in the Northwestern region of Italy.

Next year Duncanville citizens will have the opportunity to visit our Sister City friends in Italy where they will provide host families and fellowship for our group.  If you are ever in Europe and need help, they will come to your aid.  They are our extended family abroad.

If you see them or their bus, give them a hearty Texan wave and welcome!

Duncanville Residents Invited to Help Paint Wall Mural at Cockrell Hill & Danieldale: October 12 & 13

The Duncanville Design Studio and the City of Duncanville are looking for community members who would like to help paint the new wall mural located at Cockrell Hill and Danieldale! Mural painting will take place Saturday and Sunday, October 12 & 13, 2019, from 10 am to 4 pm. Residents of all ages and abilities are welcome – the mural will be paint by number so anyone interested can participate and help beatify the area.

All art supplies and paint will be provided, and the Duncanville Design Studio team will assist artists with paint colors and technique, as well as answer any questions. Please wear appropriate clothes for a painting project and remember to bring sun protection. Water will be provided.

The traffic lane next to the retaining wall will be blocked off during the hours of the project and participants can park along the nearby neighborhood streets or across the street at H. Louis Nichols Park. Please be sure to avoid blocking driveways or impeding the flow of traffic.

For more information, contact Economic Development Director Jessica James at 972-780-4997 or jjames@duncanville.com.  

Background

The Duncanville Design Studio and the City of Duncanville have partnered to design a retaining wall art mural project on the northeast corner of Cockrell Hill Rd. and Danieldale Rd. This project was developed to help beautify the Duncanville community and provide more public art that resonated with neighborhoods.

Many different retaining walls were considered; however, this wall was selected as it is on the corner of one of our community gateways. The Duncanville Design Studio worked with local artists, teachers from the Duncanville Independent School District, and the Duncanville City Council to design a mural for the wall. The mural will include nature scenes, family scenes, and kids playing different sports to showcase how Dun­canville is The City of Champions. There are three phases to this project. The first phase has already been completed, which was to paint the concrete retaining wall with a white primer base. During the second phase artists will paint the outline of the mural on the retaining wall in order to prepare the wall for the community painting portion of the project. The final phase will involve the community actively participating in one of the city’s first public art projects.

Best of Southwest Juneteenth Celebration – June 15

The City of Duncanville and Best of Southwest cities join together for the Juneteenth Arts and Music Festival, honoring the oldest known celebration of the ending of slavery. Activities include food vendors, a variety of art by local artist, crafts, musical performances and much more.  Admission is free!

Seeking Vendors

Thank you for your interest in participating in the Best Southwest Juneteenth Festival as a Small Business/Artist/Organizations.  Applications must be received by 12 pm, Monday, May 27th.

  • Booth with Electricity $100
  • Booth with No Electricity $75

Call 972-291-5130 or email cedarhillpard@cedarhilltx.com for more information.

Italian Sister City Guests Visiting Duncanville in October, Seeking Host Families

Over 21 years ago, Duncanville established a Sister City Program with Monasterolo di Savigliano, a city in Northern Italy. The program offers culture awareness and economic information. Over the years, host families in both Monasterolo and Duncanville have exchanged friendship and culture traditions.

In October, Monasterolo will send a group of citizens, age 30 to 60, to visit Duncanville for 10 days. The Sister City Commission is looking for host families to accommodate one or two people, and host families do not need to speak Italian. Responsibilities include providing a private room for either a single person or a couple, a simple breakfast, and transportation to and from City Hall.

If you are interested, or want to learn more information about the Sister City Program, contact Chelsea Cooper at 972-780-5069 or ccooper@duncanville.com.

Best Southwest Juneteenth Celebration

Why is there a Juneteenth Celebration?

According to www.Wikipedia.com:

“Juneteenth, also known as Juneteenth Independence Day or Freedom Day, is a holiday that commemorates the June 19, 1865 announcement of the abolition of slavery in Texas, and more generally the emancipation of African-American slaves throughout the Confederate South. Celebrated on June 19, the word is a portmanteau of “June” and “nineteenth”.[1][2] Juneteenth is recognized as a state holiday or special day of observance in most states.[3]

The holiday is observed primarily in local celebrations given by our  Best Southwest Cities who each host the Juneteenth Celebration.

Please join the Best Southwest Cities of Lancaster (host), Duncanville, Cedar Hill and Desoto in celebrating Juneteenth on Saturday, June 17, 2017 from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Lancaster Community Park located at 1700 Veterans Memorial Pkwy, Lancaster, TX,  75134-3316.  For more information, please connect to the City of Lancaster website:  http://www.lancaster-tx.com/1214/Juneteenth-Celebration

 

 

FRONT PORCH SALE @ Hopkins Senior Center

The annual Front Porch Sale sponsored by the Share & Care Site Council takes place this  Friday, April 21, 2017 from 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the D.L. Hopkins, Jr., Senior Center located at 206 James Collins Boulevard, Duncanville, TX  75116.  Be sure to support the seniors with your donations or purchases.

Donations of household goods are welcome beginning Monday, April 17th through Wednesday, April 19th.

For further information call 972-780-5073.

 

Staff reads

Judging by how few titles I have this week, it looks like the library staff needs some title recommendations. Can anyone help us out? Use the comments feature at the end of this post to tell us what you are reading.

 

 

The Imitation Game (dvd) starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Keira Knightley

This 2014 film is based on the story of British mathematician and cryptanalyst Alan Turing and his colleagues at Bletchley Park, who managed to break the codes of Germany’s Enigma machine (previously thought to be absolutely unbreakable), thereby shifting the balance of power in World War II, saving thousands of lives, and helping pave the way for the developments in computing technology of the latter half of the 20th century.

~ Dennis

 

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iBoy (movie)

This movie is about boy who after an accident finds that he has power. Then he helps a friend in need. It is also a book by Kevin Brooks. I partially read through the book and was excited when I saw this movie was coming to Netflix.

~ Emma

  History of Duncanville, Texas.

A little-known title to many, it covers Duncanville’s history up through 1976, when the volume was published.

~Hannah

Scythe by Neal Shusterman.

Imagine a world where a benevolent computer rules everything, and people can live forever…. In Neal Shusterman’s version, in order to prevent overpopulation, the scythes are charged with “gleaning” – aka killing. If you like teen dystopian novels, this is worth a try.

~Hannah