By Linda Quiroz, Network Weaver of Central Texas
This series of my Network Weaving projects are a few of several projects funded through resident-led participatory grantmaking made possible by St. David’s Foundation through their investment in rural health and Network Weaving. Each Network Weaver is given an opportunity to utilize shared gifting funds to work on a project that will allow them to put the skills that they have learned in the Network Weaving training to work. Those who choose to participate are given the ability to choose how and what community networks they would like to start building and the freedom to create the event or events completely on their own with the help of the community.
My project aims to create a new collaborative historic education network in Bastrop County. I chose this in the hopes of creating a network that would bring together the community, leaders in history education, and eventually school district leadership. The goal is to facilitate building relationships and collaboration in the creation of youth programs that teach the history of minority education in Bastrop County to motivate our youth to see what a treasure education is and once again begin to value it.
The first event, “A Taste of History,” was intentionally created to be a small and intimate fellowship where participants could feel heard and start to create relationships with one another through common interests. The event was a great success. Where there had been a hesitance to collaborate before, most attendees showed a willingness to do so after their interactions at the event. This smaller event paved the way for a larger-scale network weaving collaborative, called “A Bigger Taste of History”.
A Bigger Taste of History was a much larger event and not only brought participants from the first event back together but included many other community members and organizations. We had participants of all ages which helped to bring exposure to our county’s rich history and the historical programs and projects currently happening in Bastrop County. Additionally, we were able to preserve the lived experiences of alumni of Separate but Equal Schools that were in Bastrop County. A videographer captured their stories in one-on-one interviews that will be shared through the Resilient Bastrop County Initiative.
Food played a major role in both events in order to educate the people about how the foods we enjoy today are in many ways tied to our history and cultures.
A Bigger Taste of History was a collaborative effort between Network Weavers of Central Texas, BCC Resilient Bastrop County Initiative’s Healing History Series, and the Historic Hopewell Rosenwald School.