November 2, 2012
Students in SMU's Cultural Formations/Religious Studies course Latino/Latina Religions are conducting research on the history of the Jubilee Park, its Walt Humann and T. Boone Pickens Community Center and its surrounding neighborhood. They are blogging about their experiences.
The center, near the Fair Park area of Dallas, was founded by Saint Michael and All Angels Episcopal Church in 1997 and serves a diverse population.
Through their research, students hope to learn more about the ways religious organizations impact local communities, and about the changing landscapes that have formed Dallas over the years. At the culmination of the project in December, students will present their findings in a presentation at the Jubilee Park Center, www.jubileecenter.org
"By applying what we learned in class to our service learning project, my peers and I plan to do the following things," Karen write in her blog. "We will document the history of the Jubilee Park Community Center and analyze the outcomes of the center’s programs. We will also examine the economic, social, and cultural makeup of the surrounding predominantly Latino community. Most important, we will focus on how all of these components affect Latino religious identity and the Social Gospel movement in Dallas."
"Although my peers and I have much to do," Karen continued, "we have gained valuable information from our research. We have gathered from interviews that Jubilee Park residents see the community center as an institution that provides social services to the neighborhood. Because of this general consensus, my group is focused on how the center’s position has affected the role local churches have in their members’ lives. Did these churches provide these same services prior to the construction of the center? If so, do these churches still provide those services?"
Read the full blogs.