As the “front porch” of The University of Texas at Austin (UT), the Center for Community Engagement initiates and stewards successful community-university partnerships that connect the resources of the university with individuals, groups, and institutions in historically and current underserved Austin communities. CCE’s Front Porch Gathering represents UT’s open door to the Austin community, providing time and space for community collaboration. Designed to activate more than just dialogue, the Front Porch series connects UT research and resources with engaged community organizations and community members to identify strategies, align efforts, and foster collaborative relationships. The monthly gathering works to address issues of equity, disparity, and access through active engagement.
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Conversations from the Front Porch
As the “front porch” of The University of Texas at Austin, the Center for Community Engagement seeks to cultivate meaningful connections among residents, community leaders, and other stakeholders in Austin neighborhoods.
Inspired by the CCE’s Front Porch Gatherings, Conversations from the Front Porch feature intimate, timely and candid conversations with experts who provide context for Austin’s community priorities to inform and inspire collaborative action.
Click each flyer to watch the conversation on YouTube!
Meagan Longley, Vice President of Community Impact
Austin Community Foundation
Frances Jordan, Director of Policy & Social Equity
Sara Reeves, Director of Mission Advancement Operations
United Way for Greater Austin
Development on the Block: Reflections on Supporting Historically Black Communities
Tanya Debose, Founder of Preserving Communities of Color and Executive Director of the Independence Heights Redevelopment Council
Greg Smith, President & CEO of the Austin Revitalization Authority
Virginia Brown, Associate Professor in the Department of Population Health, Community Engagement, & Health Equity at Dell Medical School
Deliana Garcia, Director of International Projects & Emerging Issues at the Migrant Clinicians Network
Previous Front Porch Gatherings
A Movement Not A Moment: Reflections, Outcomes, and Strategies for Sustained Civic Engagement
The Center for Community Engagement hosted a community-wide discussion on effective strategies for civic engagement in historically marginalized communities.
The dialogue focused on various ways to engage, support, and highlight the critical issues most relevant to our communities during the COVID-19 pandemic, the recent completion of the 2020 census, and November local and national elections.
This event was held in collaboration with community storytellers Gavino Fernandez, Jr. and Priscilla Hale, the Institute of Urban Policy, Research, and Analysis at the University of Texas at Austin, and MOVE Texas.
Read a recap of the event here!
Meet our Community Storytellers
Gavino Fernandez, Jr. — Community Organizer & Coordinator, El Concilio
Mr. Gavino Fernandez, Jr. is an Austin native. He was raised around “Hungry Hill” near Ortega Elementary School back in 1960 and later moved to Barrio Unido near Zavala Elementary School. He attended Allan Jr. High School and graduated from Johnston High School in 1972. After graduation, Mr. Fernandez joined the Brown Berets and then went on to work at Zavala Elementary School through a federal grant for a bi-lingual education program. He also attended Austin Community College the first year it was created.
Mr. Fernandez then worked for the Austin Parks and Recreation Department at community recreation centers in East Austin, organizing youth and adult sports programs for 17 years. In 1991, he was hired by then Travis County Commissioner of Precinct 4. He governed alongside Chief of Staff Marcos de Leon for 4 years.
Currently, Mr. Fernandez volunteers for LULAC District 12, a Latino civil rights organization, on raising scholarship monies for LULAC high school graduating members entering college. Mr. Fernandez also serves as the LNESC-Austin Advisory Chairman and as the Coordinator for El Concilio, a coalition of Mexican-American landowners de East Austin.
Mr. Fernandez loves working with people and is a proud uncle to over 70 nieces and nephews.
Priscilla A. Hale — Community Organizer & Executive Director, allgo
Priscilla A. Hale, MSW is currently the Executive Director of allgo and has been with the organization since 1998. She has extensive experience in the areas of community organizing, production of cultural work, nonprofit administration, program development, and implementation.
She is an East Austin, Texas native who identifies as a Black Lesbian, mother, daughter, sister and grannie Cilla. She earned her Masters of Social Work Degree from Our Lady of the Lake University in San Antonio, TX, and her Bachelor’s Degree from St. Edward’s University in Austin, TX.
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