5th Dialogue for Peace and Progress to take place Feb. 18 in Kyle

Dex Ellison, council member for District 1, hosts the events in Kyle. (Courtesy City of Kyle)
Dex Ellison, council member for District 1, hosts the events in Kyle. (Courtesy City of Kyle)

Dex Ellison, council member for District 1, hosts the events in Kyle. (Courtesy City of Kyle)

The fifth Dialogue for Peace and Progress will take place on Feb. 18 at 7 p.m. at Kyle City Hall, 100 W. Center St.

The panel discussions have various themes for community engagement, and this Friday’s theme is “Celebrating Black History Month.” The program is moderated by Kyle City Council Member Dex Ellison.

“The first one was June of 2020. This was derived from everything that had happened that year and particularly that summer with social injustice and various different things and discussions that were happening to police reform during that year,” Ellison said. “It's an opportunity to provide a platform for those that we don't typically hear from in our community, for an open and honest conversation about a myriad of topics and taboo subjects that we typically don't talk about. But with all that in mind, knowing that our goal is a dialogue for peace and progress to understand and talk about our various different perspectives and viewpoints, with the idea of moving toward greater peace and progress,” he said.

The panelists at the discussion include Rev. Jonafa Banbury, Sheila Henderson, Vanessa Westbrook, Anthony Davis, Naissa Bayo and Genest Harding. Banbury works with the Dunbar Heritage Association in San Marcos, and Bayo is a high school student.

“We have two members from our Hays [County] Historical Commission, Vanessa Westbrook and Mr. Anthony Davis. Mr. Anthony Davis grew up in the city of Kyle [and] lived here all his life, so providing a unique perspective of that,” Ellison said.

The panel will be in person at city hall, but livestreaming is available through Spectrum channel 10 and the city’s YouTube channel and Facebook page.

Since its inception, the series has incorporated various themes, including Juneteenth and Hispanic Heritage Month as a backdrop, Ellison said. Every year, Black History Month has a theme, Ellison said, put together by the Association for the Study of African American Life and History, and this year’s theme is black health and wellness.

“We'll be talking a little bit about that as well and just overall health, and mental health and wellness through the pandemic and just how that's kind of been a taboo subject sometimes—even within the African American community—and health care and preventative health care and things of that nature.”
By Eric Weilbacher

Editor, New Braunfels and San Marcos/Buda/Kyle

Eric joinedCommunity Impact Newspaper as an editor in July 2021, returning to journalism after several years in the New Braunfels business community. Prior to CI, Eric freelanced for multiple publications and was a reporter for the New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung. He brings a passion for accurate, compelling story telling and human interest to his work.