Festival of Faiths and Cultures at UT Dallas
December 14, 2019
Reception / Gallery 6:15pm
The Thanks-Giving Foundation Interfaith Council’s December 14th Festival of Faiths will be held at UT Dallas for the first time. The KERA voice, Sam Baker, will emcee the event. We are also excited that the following individuals and groups will be sharing their migration story through art and culture from around the world. The theme this year is “Grateful: Cultural Gifts from Around the World.” This event aims to exemplify the American values of Gratitude and Inclusion and to present cross-cultural exchanges that enrich the American experience for its residents and the society at large.
We will feature performances that are representative of cultures from four areas of the world: Central and Latin America, the Middle East, Africa & SouthAsia. There will be exciting vocals, instrumentals, and dances. The artwork will include various media and will feature their artists. The program is complimentary and family-friendly.
- A flavor of Asia: Represented by a Burmese Singer, Kashmiri Dancers, and Singers & Iranian Singer.
- Crossing The Line: A short performance of an excerpt from the play, Crossing The Line, an original documentary/verbatim piece created from first-person interviews. The teens of Cry Havoc Theater Company will perform three scenes from the play.
- Stronger We Stand Together: Live Costume Art Demonstration by a Pakistani Artist depicting Mexican and Peruvian traditional clothing. The two cultures would merge in the third costume draped as the contemporary American wear that will depict the transition and assimilation of the immigrants.
- Edyka Chilomé with special guest musician Ceiba Ili: Artists will bring their migration stories from El Salvador and Honduras to the forefront of their music and poetry.
- Whirling Dervish with Rumi Poetry: Sufi Whirling Dervishes began with the inspiration of the scholar Mevlana Jalaluddin Rumi in the 12th century and was influenced by Turkish culture. Sema dance represents human beings’ spiritual journey.
Art Gallery: Our special program begins at 6:15 pm with Artist and models, representing cultures of Rwanda, India, Jordan, Ghana and the Middle East. Live music will be performed by a young Rwandan during this 45 minutes time period.
This flagship event is important as we recognize the great contribution of our newest American community neighbors. The success of this event depends on each of us bringing community members who will enjoy an evening of cultural expressions!
Theme: Grateful: Cultural Gifts from Around the World
Date: Saturday, December 14th
Collaborators: The Interfaith Council of Thanks-Giving Foundation; The Crow Collection of Asian Art at The University of Texas at Dallas & School of Arts and Humanities at The University of Texas at Dallas
Art Gallery: 6:15 pm
Venue: University Theatre at University of Texas, Dallas
About Dallas Responds
Dallas Responds was formed in response to a request from Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins and the Dallas Office of Welcoming Communities and Immigrant Affairs to establish a short-term Respite Center for asylum seekers traveling through Dallas. Under the direction of Faith Forward Dallas at Thanksgiving Square, we established the Dallas Responds Respite Center in June 2019 to respond to this request.
However, due to changes in US policy regarding processing of asylum seekers that present at the Texas – Mexico border, we have not had the demand for a Respite Center that was originally envisioned. We have worked throughout the summer months to identify how best to utilize our resources and volunteers to meet the needs of the migrant population. At this time, we are shifted our focus to the following main areas of support:
Supporting individual migrant families that are either traveling through, or settling in, the DFW metroplex.
Providing support to migrants living in Dallas through our Dallas Responds Community Hub
We established the Dallas Responds Community Hug in August 2019 and served local immigrants with food, clothing, medical / school physicals, school supplies, and legal resources. Likewise, we have assisted 2 individual families seeking asylum in the US. Dallas Responds is continuing to evaluate where and how to target our outreach work. We will post more information on this website as we continue in this process. In the meantime, we are still accepting donations of clothing and toiletries at Oak Lawn United Methodist Church. Donation information below.
Follow us on Facebook: @DallasResponds
NEW! Donation Drop-Off Times
Oak Lawn United Methodist
3014 Oak Lawn, Dallas 75219
Tuesday 9am – 6pm
Thursday 9am – 6pm
Sunday 8am – 6pm
We have a few requests that will help ensure we are able to provide compassionate care to asylum seekers in an organized, well-run center:
Please do not leave donations by the door outside of the designated hours. Ring the doorbell for assistance!
- Pre-sort and clearly label donations as you’re able
- Follow the list of donations needs and donation don’ts (link to the donation list below)
- Donate during the designated hours
Cry Havoc Theater Company
Dallas Responds was incredibly proud to publicize the production of Crossing the Line Link by Cry Havoc Theater earlier this year.
Based on interviews conducted in Dallas, via Skype and at the border, Crossing the Line is an original documentary-style performance created and produced by Cry Havoc Theater & Kitchen Dog Theater focusing on the immigration debate and the situation at the border.
We support the work of Cry Havoc and encourage you to visit their site for current and upcoming shows! Link
Resources / Events
Help at the Border is a new website for up-to-date information on what is happening at the border, and how YOU can help!
Dallas Responds Community Hub Report!
Dallas Responds Community Hub was a success, serving 120 clients over the 4 Saturday’s we were open in August.
The Community Hub provided a range of services including groceries, school backpacks and physicals, health screenings, vision screening, clothing distribution, legal resources, and children’s activities.
With participation from almost 100 volunteers, we were able to provide one-on-one support to most of the families, which was appreciated by all the clients and a blessing to volunteers!
As Dallas Responds considers next steps, our experience with the Community Hub provided tremendous insight into the needs of our local immigrant community.
Thanks to all the volunteers that made this work possible! Stay tuned for what’s next!
A Sharp Drop in Migrant Arrivals at the Border 7.11.2019 Link
Dallas Responds 6.8.2019 PDF
Prayer Vigil at ICE Headquarters in Dallas Link
Courts and Ports with Texas IMPACT Link
Hope Border Institute Link
Dallas Responds Meets with State Dept Leadership Program Link
Dallas Responds at Thanksgiving Square Link
Assist with maintaining volunteer and respite center guest database; ensuring intake forms, travel arrangement forms, and other documents are properly processed; assist with ongoing communication needs, including the communication of travel schedules with volunteers and guests; assist volunteers and respite center guests with accessing travel and other pertinent information and printing travel documents
Greet respite center guests, provide pastoral care and ministry of presence, which may include dining with guests, conducting services, delivering rosaries, and offering prayer with guests and volunteers as requested
Oversees the coordination of volunteers and resources to provide sufficient supply of snacks, meals, and refreshments for respite center guests, including set-up, meal service, and clean up
May include volunteers who serve meals on-site, as well as volunteers who procure, purchase, and/or prepare food off-site to be delivered and served at the respite center, including set-up, meal service to guests, and clean up.
Guide welcome center guests to available resources and spaces available at the respite center, including clothing, toiletries, travel bags, showers, baby supplies and leisure/recreational activities; be available to answer questions and engage with guests; assist with light organizing and cleaning of center space; Hospitality Volunteers may be assigned by the Shift Coordinator to serve specific duties in meal service, toiletries, sorting clothes, and shower coordination as needed
Meet with newly arrived family units to register guests for the respite center; gather and process pertinent information, including sponsor contact, travel arrangements, and any self-reported medical/mental health needs or concerns; must be bilingual
Oversees the recruitment, vetting process, and training of legal services professional volunteers who provide on-site orientation and informational legal resources for respite center guests
Attorneys and legal services professionals who provide on-site orientation and distribute informational legal resources for respite center guests
Registered Nurses and mental health counselors who provide on-site medical assessments to respite center guests and volunteers, making referrals to Agape Clinic when recommended or required; will also coordinate with Physicians, Advance Nurse Practitioners, Physician Assistants who will be on call
Oversees the recruitment, vetting process, and training of medical and mental health professional volunteers, who provide medical and mental health support to respite center guests; selects appropriate referral sources for guests when further services are recommended or required
Provides on-site coordination and support of all volunteers; ensures each volunteer understands their role and responsibility during each shift; serves collaboratively with the Medical & Mental Health Coordinators, Legal Services Coordinator, Food Coordinator, and Transportation Coordinator to ensure efficient and supportive volunteer management
Oversees and manages the use of the facility; serves as a liaison between volunteers and church staff/members as pertains to issues of physical space and storage
Assist respite center guests with using center-provided cellphones to connect and communicate with sponsors that family members have arrived in Dallas; ensure sponsors and guests are aware of travel needs and arrangements; responsibilities include completing transportation and intake forms; must be bilingual
Oversees the coordination of transportation volunteers and available vehicles and approved drivers to safely transport respite centers to overnight stays and departure sites (bus station or airport); develop and maintain a system for communication with volunteers and respite center guests’ transportation/departure times
Following proper safety procedure and protocol, volunteers greet guests and assist with transportation of guests to and from the respite center, overnight stay location, and bus station or airport; assist with making final travel arrangements with coordination of sponsor; ensure guests understand their travel itinerary and assist with navigating bus station and airport check-in system, escorting guests as far as possible through security to their gate
Oversees the recruitment, vetting process, and training of all volunteers on approved procedures, protocol and volunteer guidelines
Meet guests upon arrival to the respite center, conveying warmth and hospitality; lead a large-group introductory orientation with respite center guests to provide an overview of the intake process, schedule and services available at the respite center and overnight stay; must be bilingual
Dallas Responds Respite Center
Dallas Responds is a ministry of Faith Forward Dallas graciously funded with help from the Thanks-Giving Foundation