Kathlyn Joy Gilliam Museum reopens, honoring Dallas’ first Black woman elected to school board
The Kathlyn Joy Gilliam Museum recently reopened on Wendelkin Street in South Dallas. Honoring the legacy of Mrs. Kathlyn Joy Gilliam, the museum showcases the civil rights leader’s life story featuring original furnishings, photos, and artifacts in the home she lived in for 35 years.
Neighborhood-led protest ends South Dallas-Fair Park PID ‘tax’
The South Dallas Fair Park Public Improvement District is coming to an end. Property owners of neighborhood homes and businesses advocated against extending the PID for another seven years, saying they didn’t feel the additional tax burden translated to tangible community benefits.
South Dallas real estate company works to keep the community in community development
Ferrell Fellows' business model is simple: She buys off-market properties in South Dallas in need of serious repairs then renovates these homes, preserving character and history. They become residences for first-time homebuyers, long-term rentals for people not ready to take that leap, and shared housing for people she comes across in her community work, everyone from single parents to immigrants to prostitutes. Fellows believes everyone deserves a dignified way to live.
Q&A with Tabitha Wheeler Reagan: District 7’s New Plan Commissioner
South Dallas District 7 has a new plan commissioner — Tabitha Wheeler-Reagan. She will join 14 plan commissioners to hear zoning cases and make recommendations to the City Council.
Fair Park First hopes partnering with Sunny South Dallas Food Park will create a welcoming space for Black neighbors
Desiree Powell hopes that the food park can be a living example of Black excellence and history in South Dallas. That’s one of the reasons she decided to partner with Fair Park First.
Watermark wants a zoning change for its South Dallas church in the historic Pearl C. Anderson School. Neighbors want to know: Why?
Watermark submitted a proposal to the City of Dallas for a new planned development district (PD) for the almost 10-acre space on July 12 — less than two weeks before it held its second community meeting.
A new public safety project in Mill City may be a solution to the city’s 311 problem
A task force on safe communities is spending $150,000 to help clean up nearly 600 vacant lots in Mill City, with the goal of cutting crime along with the grass in the neighborhood.
Park South YMCA swim team enjoys year-round swim
Last year, Madel Perez coached the Park South YMCA Sharks into a fifth-place victory in the regional competition. What made this such a remarkable win was that the South Dallas Sharks were one of the few teams with a diverse group of students.
‘Where do you go on Saturday morning?’ How a zoning plan could make way for new businesses in South Dallas￼
Tabitha Wheeler-Reagan, the co-chair of the South Dallas/Fair Park Area Plan Task Force, says the neighborhood’s PD 595 deters new businesses from coming into South Dallas. PD 595’s initial goals were to police alcohol sales and prevent gentrification, she explains, but she and the task force believe the zoning needs to be updated — still protecting the community, but encouraging local entrepreneurs, too.
New Malcolm X Plaza hopes to provide a solution to gun violence in South Dallas
South Dallas’ newest summer attraction resides along South Malcolm X Boulevard, sandwiched between Marburg and Southland streets. Once a vacant parking lot next to a DART bus station, Malcolm X Plaza is now a multi-use gathering space for family and friends with a broader goal, organizers say, to improve public safety on one of the […]
Goal of MLK Food Park, now in Fair Park, is ‘welcoming’ South Dallas residents and people of color
Phase 4 of the month-long food park aimed to create a community environment for South Dallas residents and businesses of color.
Froswa’ Booker-Drew resigns her post as ‘the great connecter’ between the State Fair of Texas and South Dallas-Fair Park neighbors
A bombshell dropped on South Dallas this week when Froswa’ Booker-Drew announced that her last day at the State Fair of Texas would be next Friday, April 15.
Groceries in a SNAP: Amazon provides free delivery to EBT customers￼
Already, 65,000 people in DFW are enrolled in Amazon’s SNAP delivery program, but the company found that people who live in “food deserts” weren’t using the service, so launched a new outreach program Jan. 1.
Diane Ragsdale: A lifetime of community organizing in South Dallas
The Hon. Diane Ragsdale, who will turn 70 this year, has spent her entire life in South Dallas. Her story has been shaped by the neighborhood and, likewise, she has shaped her neighborhood in significant ways. She’s still fighting some of the same issues that led her to run for Council, and as a registered nurse, she approaches the systems as she would her patients — a belief in preventative medicine that will treat the underlying causes, not just the symptoms.
Cornerstone Baptist’s profitable nonprofit grocery store ‘creates dignity’ in South Dallas
Southpoint is proving to be a miracle in this sparsely populated South Dallas neighborhood between Al Lipscomb and Martin Luther King Jr. boulevards. Access to healthy, affordable food has been among the top concerns for residents here.
Is the City of Dallas going to save the Save-U-More grocery store in southern Dallas?
Highland Hills fresh foods grocery store, Save-U-More, struggles to stay open and widen the food desert gaps happening in South Dallas.
Tried GoLink yet? DART extends South Dallas pilot through Jan. 21
DART’s GoLink program is to easily get riders to a nearby rail station in areas where bus routes are scarce. Still, leaders found there was a significant need for more accessible transportation within the neighborhood. DART's Golink Pilot service is a curb-to-curb model being measured for its success in neighborhoods until January 21st.
South Dallas nonprofit Miles of Freedom features and funds incarcerated artists through ‘Arts of Oppression’ exhibit
Art comes in many forms and the ‘Arts of Oppression’ exhibit conveys that art is not limited to paintings or drawings, but extends to things like music, dancing and many other things which can be accessed if incarcerated individuals have access to resources.
A parking lot symbolizes the State Fair of Texas’ racist history
Historians and journalists have documented — and today’s staffers recognize — the State Fair of Texas’ racist history. In the early 1900s the fair hosted one “Colored People Day” per year. It was discontinued in 1910. On a Wednesday in fall 1923, Ku Klux Klan Day drew some 160,000 Klansmen to the fairgrounds for the initiation of the “largest class in the history of Klandom,” according to the flier, which included an application for membership on the back. Negro Achievement Day launched in 1936. Each year on Oct. 14, Black fairgoers were admitted inside the gates.
The State Fair of Texas is trying to remedy past injustices to South Dallas via its urban farm
It’s a tragic irony that the largest agriculture promoter in the state, the State Fair of Texas, is surrounded by a food desert, the neighborhood of South Dallas.
A South Dallas artist residency aims to ‘capture the now before the future’
John Spriggins, manager of the South Dallas Cultural Center, launched the Juanita J. Craft House Artist in Residency to provide artists with studio space to create work that “capture[s] the immediacy of the moment where historical neighborhoods are rapidly changing due to socio-economic shifts."
People need jobs. Nonprofits need volunteers. Socialwyze’s solution is hourly wages for good work.
The for-profit company connects nonprofits with unemployed individuals who can earn hourly wages by doing community benefit work.
What’s keeping Dallas from having a food truck scene like Austin’s
MLK Food Park organizers say City of Dallas rules around food trucks encourage the kinds of fried delicacies that Dallasites can find en masse at the State Fair of Texas but discourage healthy options. That’s why they created a mobile food task force to examine Dallas’ food policies for special events.
New grocery store reflects Cornerstone church’s belief that ‘South Dallas deserves beautiful things’
A new neighborhood grocery store in South Dallas is part of Cornerstone Baptist Church's overall vision for a healthy community.
Laying out food pantries like grocery stores gives choice and can lead to healthy habits
Aunt Bette's food pantry at St. Philip's in South Dallas is set up like a grocery store to provide choices to hungry neighbors. This can create the kind of positive psychological environment conducive to healthy consumer habits, experts say.
To feed community members, Crossroads partners with churches, public housing facilities and neighborhood centers
"Most people that come to our [Red Bird] food pantry come to it as a last resort, when their food stamps have run out at the end of the month,” says Katie Peters, who manages community relations at Crossroads Community Services. “The unique thing about our community partners is that they typically have recurring clients."
Coming soon: A Dolphin Heights community gardener in residence
At 80, Anna Hill still tends the Dolphin Heights Community Garden next door to her home. A new 450-square-foot cottage on the garden site will give Hill much needed help, and give the gardener in residence an affordable house.
Black and Brown ‘Lit Lab’ library opens in Bonton’s Bridge Builders
Bridge Builders, a nonprofit in the Bonton neighborhood of South Dallas, has recently opened a Black and Brown library called the Lit Lab. The library’s purpose is to showcase only Black and Brown authors and characters in hopes that the children can have a relatable experience while reading. Tracy Lindsey, director of the kids program, […]
Cornerstone Baptist Church is opening a grocery store to address food insecurity in South Dallas
In an effort to address food insecurity in the community, Cornerstone Baptist Church is opening Southpoint Community Market, a neighborhood grocery store that will sell fresh and affordable food.
Non-profit grocery store Jubilee Market in Waco fills a gap for affordable, nutritious food
Jubilee Market in Waco has attracted the attention of city leaders from across Texas looking for innovative ways to provide affordable and nutritious foods in low-income neighborhoods. However, Jubilee may be a unicorn, because it relies on a leader who lives in the neighborhood, a strong base of supporters and a financial safety net.
In Dallas’ food deserts, community gardens ease — but don’t end — hunger pangs
Community gardens have been a way of life for people in South Dallas for years. Without a nearby grocery store, residents have often had to rely on their own gardening skills for fresh fruits and vegetables.
Vaccine hesitancy, not availability, now South Dallas’ largest barrier
Now that anyone who wants a vaccine can get one, the challenge is overcoming barriers such as internet access needed to register for the vaccine and transportation needed to get to appointments, plus the even more daunting barrier of trust.
‘No interruption’: Wireless network gives South Dallas students reliable internet access at home
Dallas ISD built a large cell tower on Lincoln High School’s campus to extend the existing WiFi signal to homes within a two-mile radius of the school so students and their families could access the internet for free.
Organizers hope pop-up MLK Food Park becomes permanent in South Dallas
A month-long outdoor food park is opening in South Dallas on weekends in April and early May to help support neighborhoods chefs and food entrepreneurs whose businesses have been impacted by the pandemic and the State Fair’s cancellation.
Drive-by parade honors Bobbie Blair, 51-year early education teacher with ChildCareGroup
Bobbie Blair, lifetime early education South Dallas teacher is honored with a drive-by parad as she retires from 51 years of teaching at ChildCareGroup.
Live broadcasts, robotics team coming to Thompson, Dunbar schools
Paul L. Dunbar and H.S. Thompson schools in South Dallas received grants to support innovation in areas like leadership, technology, STEM.
Two fires char Kathlyn Joy Gilliam Museum in South Dallas
A couple doors down from the corner of Driskell and Wendelkin streets in South Dallas is what used to be a beautiful historic landmark, the Kathlyn Joy Gilliam Museum, now completely damaged from two intentionally set fires.
After the storm: Resources for South Dallas neighbors
Dallas Free Press has compiled a list of resources for South Dallas residents in the aftermath of the winter storm.
A farmers market on wheels aims to combat southern Dallas ‘food deserts’
The idea formed a few years ago, when UNT Dallas biology professor Kelly Varga took her students to the Mill City neighborhood to help clean up a community farm. The woman who ran the farm told Varga she saw a need in her neighborhood for quality food and a healthy outlet for young people.
How some South Dallas families are navigating the pandemic
For many families in South Dallas, COVID has forced them to choose between sending their kids to school and facing financial and health risks, or keeping them home and dealing with isolation and learning loss.
Nearly five high schools worth of Dallas ISD students are MIA
Dallas ISD high school, middle school, and elementary students have missed days of school. Authorities presented a plan to address this.
‘Transformational’ news on South Dallas’ historic Forest Theater coming in February
“I’ve never seen the marquee light up before,” noted Elizabeth Wattley in a September 2019 podcast about CitySquare’s restoration of the historic Forest Theater. As a child, the theater was an icon Wattley knew well, and even though the Forest was unoccupied in much of Wattley’s remembrance, she still recognized it as “a landmark and a […]
Not My Son founder Tramonica Brown transforms Dallas
Officers ordered protesters to get on the ground and began throwing smoke bombs and tear gas that blended their flashing red and blue lights into purple fumes. The air was filled with smoke screens and screams. More than 600 protesters, lying face down on the concrete, had their hands zip-tied behind their backs. A few even jumped over the side of the bridge in an attempt to get away from the arresting officers and flying projectiles. But not Tramonica Brown.
Zoning vs. small business: Three South Dallas stories
“The more things that we bring in that keep our residents in our community spending their money here, the more we create that ecosystem of a sustainable economy that is going to give back to this community, instead of all of our dollars being spent elsewhere,” says Councilman Adam Bazaldua.
Questions answered: South Dallas Fair Park Public Improvement District (PID)
Dallas Free Press recently asked questions about the South Dallas Fair Park PID to try to understand how these tax dollars are benefitting the neighborhood, and how COVID might be impacting the work.
It’s 2020 but banks’ redlining practices still stifle southern Dallas
This WFAA airs from reporter David Schechter reveals how banks are still redlining southern Dallas neighborhoods.
New gym, storm shelter coming to Dallas’ James Madison High School
A new competition gymnasium at James Madison High School is being constructed as part of roughly $29 million the school received in Dallas ISD’s voter-approved $1.6 billion 2015 bond package.
New dashboard tracks costs, construction for South Dallas school bond projects
The Nov. 3 presidential election is attracting record numbers of early voters in Dallas to the polls, but there are local decisions to be made, too, including five Dallas ISD bond propositions totaling $3.7 billion.
South Dallas leaders press DART for curb-to-curb transportation service
A community survey showed that 45 percent of the people in the South Dallas zip codes of 75210 and 75215 don't have cars. Community leaders want to bring DART's GoLink service to the neighborhood.
This mental health podcast from a South Dallas native recognizes we all need help
For Reynolds, a South Dallas native who grew up in the South Blvd/Park Row neighborhood, The Help Show has been a spiritual journey that has allowed her to process her grief.
Could internet access in Dallas shift from a luxury to a utility?
South Dallas’ Lincoln High School could place an antenna on its roof and transmit broadband signals to household receivers. A student could then type a code into her laptop and sign on to the network from home.
As schools prep for virtual learning, 1/3 of Dallas families lack internet access
Co-published by our media partner, KERA. Listen to the radio version on KERA’s website. Jamaala Karim walks into the Paul Dunbar Learning Center cafeteria. It’s filled with staff hired to help distribute technology to students’ families. “Having to go from single mom to teacher, it’s like, uhhhhhh,” she sighs heavily. Karim picks up two clear backpacks. […]
How to claim property when you don’t hold the title
When South Dallas residents don’t hold the title to the property they own, it can cause all kinds of problems. Without a title, the property can’t be sold and isn’t eligible for government-funded home repairs or homestead exemptions that give a property tax discount. It’s a financial problem, definitely. It’s also a legal problem, says […]
Frazier pop-up camp breaks up long, hot, homebound summer
Co-published by our media partner, The Dallas Weekly Wearing colorful masks, groups of children trickle into the empty parking lot near the Frazier community center to check-in to the Frazier Revitalization Pop-Up Camp. As they wait in line, they eye the red and yellow tea-flavored popsicles being handed out by Mind Over Matter Tea and […]
South Dallas businesses, residents opt to pay extra taxes for public improvement
Parts of South Dallas and Fair Park are using self-imposed tax dollars to improve the community by cleaning up streets, fixing infrastructure issues and increasing public safety and security.
The MLK library branch remains closed, but neighbors can view its South Dallas history exhibit online
The plan was to host a physical exhibit at the MLK library from April through June, but the COVID-19 pandemic changed their plans and made things more uncertain.
A $7 million facelift will transform South Dallas’ MLK school into an arts academy
This fall, the school opens as a Dallas ISD “transformation” school focused on performing and fine arts.
Amid a pandemic, Restorative Farms plants seedlings for South Dallas growth
More than 300 of Restorative Farms’ GroBoxes are now producing basil, okra, peppers and more in backyards, front yards and patios across Dallas, including more than 50 in South Dallas.
MLK Community Center’s Juneteenth celebration different but ‘impactful’
Normally, center turns into a festival on Juneteenth, with vendors and music in the parking lot, but with COVID-19 numbers still breaking record highs in Dallas County, this year’s event was done differently.
‘Stay vigilant’: Local leaders urge caution, protection as businesses reopen
Co-published by our media partner, The Dallas Weekly When Dr. Ahmad Garrett-Price leaves his home in West Dallas, he always takes his self-made “care package” with him. It’s a recyclable grocery bag holding key items to protect himself and others from the novel coronavirus: a mask, disposable gloves, hand sanitizer, disinfectant wipers and disinfectant spray. […]
Johnson says minority communities will get ‘their fair share’ of coronavirus relief funds
Co-published by our media partner, The Dallas Weekly Mayor Eric Johnson and District 3 Councilman Casey Thomas spent Friday morning on group phone calls with Dallas clergy and small minority-owned business owners, making sure they knew about grants and loans available to them and their communities. The federal government gave the City of Dallas $5 […]
How to defer a rent payment under Dallas’ new eviction ordinance
Co-published by our media partner, The Dallas Weekly In the state of Texas, if a tenant is late paying rent, the landlord has a legal right to evict. “There’s no protection in Texas law for that,” says Sandy Rollins, executive director of the Dallas-based Texas Tenants’ Union. “It’s a default on the contract when you don’t […]
Reentry groups respond to pandemic’s early release of prisoners
During a typical month, Dennis Gant may welcome one or two new residents to the former South Dallas apartment building that now operates as a dormitory for men who just left prison and are trying to get on their feet. In the last three weeks, however, six new residents have been released to the care of Trinity Restoration Ministries.
South Dallas nonprofits join forces to address COVID-19 diaper shortages
Dallas County had declared a state of emergency two weeks prior as cases of the novel coronavirus rose. Williams reached out to Carter, whose nonprofit Carter’s House provides children’s clothing and baby items to families from its headquarters at the Martin Luther King Jr. Community Center. The two women had teamed up previously to host pop-up baby boutiques for single parents, and they decided to face the pandemic head-on in another joint effort.
Parkland officials respond to COVID-19 crisis in DFW
The coronavirus pandemic already is taking its toll on Dallas. And COVID-19 is likely to more fiercely attack disenfranchised sections of the city.