The Justice Society and The Mays Center for Experiential Learning & Community Engagement at Texas A&M University-San Antonio teamed up with the Esperanza Peace and Justice Center Saturday, April 7, at the Rinconcito de Esperanza for the Paseo Por El Westside 2018, a celebration of culture and people of San Antonio’s Westside.
Despite the rare one-day cold front for April, participants continued celebrating in coats and sweaters. The event included live music, games and education stations.
One such station featured domestic chickens that represented the city’s new ordinance regulating ownership of chickens within the city limits. Other activities included the making of mini piñatas and a recycling craft demo, food demos and a plant sale.
Originally named the Pre-Law Society A&M-San Antonio, the Justice Society changed its name to create a more inclusive environment and to open doors to other majors.
Martin Calderon, society president and history junior, said, “We’re taking on the direction of more experience and community service because overall justice is a really big theme and can hit on many difference aspects such as preserving culture.”
Marking its first event collaboration with Esperanza, the club planned and coordinated resources and volunteers for the event.
“We’re really lucky for groups like this,” said Amelia Valdez, volunteer coordinator for Esperanza. “It’s really good we have groups like them. They understand us and believe in us to help preserve the cultura.”
Sa Huynh, club secretary and information technology senior, joined at the beginning of spring semester. She joined because since she was a little girl she has loved justice and had always been involved in different community activism.
Her role for the event was helping with preparations, decorations and surveys that asked participants what they loved about the event and what they want to see next year. The society collected 53 surveys.
“Getting to know the people and their stories has been rewarding for me. I love to talk to the people here,” Huynh said.
Calderon said the collaboration between the society and the Mays Center was fruitful.
“We could not have done the community service project without the Mays Center; they were a tremendous help to our organization,” Calderon said. “The Mays Center provided the resources of advertisement an exposure such as flyer designs, social media and shirts.”
A total of 11 volunteers registered and each volunteering participant received a limited-edition Mays Center purple shirt designating their student volunteer status.
For more information about the society, visit the Justice Society page at JagSync