This year, Old City Park invites you to celebrate Black History Month by volunteering your time to organizations that support or are run by members of the Black community in Dallas. Below, you can read about five organizations, their history, mission, and find the links to their volunteer pages. If you are interested in reading about some important Black figures in Dallas history, visit our previous blog post entitled “This is Dallas.”
The Afiya Center: TAC was founded in 2008 with the purpose of bringing education and resources to Black women living with HIV/AIDS. As the center grew, it began meeting the needs for education about reproductive rights and maternity care. TAC is the only Reproductive Justice organization in North Texas founded and directed by Black women. The center’s doula training program, Southern Roots Doula Services, has played a large role in improving maternity care for Black women. TAC now works to provide ongoing support and programs to ensure Black women have access to all reproductive health services. If you would like to learn more, or are interested in volunteering with TAC, click here.
House of Rebirth: Launched in 2019, The House is a housing option and community founded in memory of Black trans women Muhlaysia Booker, Chynal Lindsey, and Merci Mack. The House provides resources and information for Black transgender women in North Texas about how to access health care, change their name and gender on identification documents, and more. They have partnered with the Afiya Center to provide a safe space for Black cis- and transgender women to learn skills to advocate for necessary healthcare. If you would like to learn more, or are interested in volunteering with the House of Rebirth, click here.
Dallas CASA: Founded by the National Council of Jewish Women, the agency was established in 1979. CASA volunteers advocate for abused and neglected children in order to help them gain safe, permanent homes as quickly as possible. The agency serves children and families of all cultures, identities, and backgrounds; however, only 15% of Dallas CASA volunteers are Black. Volunteers of color are disproportionately represented in the child welfare system despite the fact that children of color are more likely to form deeper relationships with volunteers who are comfortable having conversations with them about issues unique to their racial and ethnic identity. If you would like to learn more, or are interested in volunteering with Dallas CASA, click here.
African American Museum of Dallas: Founded on the campus of Bishop College in 1974, the museum was and was originally called the Southwest Research Center and Museum of African American Life and Culture. Eventually moving to Fair Park, the museum received funding for a new building that opened in 1993. The African American Museum of Dallas is dedicated to the research, acquisition, presentation, and preservation of visual art forms and historical documents that relate to the life and culture of the African American community in Dallas. It holds one of the largest African American Folk Art collection in the U.S. and has become one of the most successful museums promoting and preserving African American history and culture. If you would like to learn more, or are interested in volunteering with the African American Museum of Dallas, click here.
Mothers Against Police Brutality: Collette Flanagan founded MABP after her son, Clinton Allen, was shot to death by a Dallas police officer in March 2013. The organization unites mothers who have lost their children to police violence in order to fight for civil rights, police accountability, and policy reform. Additionally, MAPB works to restore trust between the police and the communities they are sworn to protect and serve. Their overarching goals are to instate a federal standard use of force so that all police are trained the same and for the laws on qualified immunity for officers to be changed. If you would like to learn more, or are interested in volunteering with the African American Museum of Dallas, click here.