Local activist Mike Lowe calls for the imprisonment of San Antonio Police Department officer Robert Encina. Photo by Scott Ball.
Local activist Mike Lowe calls for the imprisonment of San Antonio Police Department officer Robert Encina. Credit: Scott Ball / San Antonio Report

Community leaders, activists, and educators will gather Tuesday, Feb. 23 at UTSA’s Main Campus to address the volatile subject of police and citizen civil rights during the San Antonio Community Activist Panel, a free event open to the public.

The panel discussion, which will be held in the Denman Ballroom, UC 2.01.28, from 6-8:45 p.m., was organized by Dr. Sonja Lanehart, a professor and Brackenridge Endowed chair of Literature and the Humanities in UTSA’s Department of English.

The panel will feature activists, officeholders, and former and current UTSA students involved in organizations such as the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and Black Lives Matter.

Confirmed panelists include T. Max McMillan, local sociopolitical commentator; Kwame Rose, a former UTSA student, founder of Black EXCELLence and a civil rights activist in Baltimore; Mario Salas, a local civil rights activist and former city councilman who is running for the Texas Legislature; Maureen Akpaka, UTSA’s NAACP chapter president; Shun Barrientez, staff advisor for the Black Lives Matter chapter at UTSA; Mike Lowe, member of SATX4; and Tabitha Austin, president for the UTSA Black Lives Matter.

Austin said the panel will aim to shed light on the real purpose of civil rights organizations like Black Lives Matter, because there’s “a lot of controversy and misinformation” surrounding the organization and their purposes.

“We live in an age where social media and political propaganda fuel what our mass media news outlets present to us and it’s caused a lot of confusion and ignorance on all sides,” Austin said. “It’s a dangerous situation where hundreds of thousands of people are actually reading, believing, and spreading ignorance like a wildfire.”

*Top Image:Local activist Mike Lowe calls for the imprisonment of San Antonio Police Department officer Robert Encina. Photo by Scott Ball. 

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Camille Garcia

Camille Garcia is a journalist born and raised in San Antonio. She formerly worked at the San Antonio Report as assistant editor and reporter. Her email is camillenicgarcia@gmail.com