The Convener December 2021

Thanksgiving Sqaure 58_low

Higher Ground

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” – Margaret Mead

Last month, we hosted our first Breaking Bread & Building Bridges session at The Square alongside our lead partner, Café Momentum, and our collaborators – The Dallas Police Department, Project Unity, The Dallas Mavericks, The University of North Texas at Dallas and The Dallas Morning News. This initiative convenes facilitated conversations of import among dinner guests, including Dallas police officers, Café Momentum interns, community faith leaders and Dallas Mavericks representatives. Among the 99 participants present at the inaugural dinner were selected civic, governmental and philanthropic catalysts.

Using the model established for “Together We Dine” by Pastor Richie Butler, a member of The Thanks-Giving Square’s Faith Forward initiative, Pastor Butler’s Project Unity team led small groups at each table to explore the tension that exists in our community between people of color and the officers of the Dallas Police Department. After uncovering a series of frank and revealing personal stories over dinner, the larger group entered a “Town Hall” formatted segment led by Rev. Dr. George Mason. Each table was asked to share one idea as to how to improve relations between The Dallas Police Department and Dallas’ communities of color. The evening ended with Pastor Butler challenging those gathered to “listen, learn and engage”.

The wave of goodwill that washed over our gathering leaves me gratified, emboldened and enormously optimistic. I am grateful to Chief Garcia for his strong commitment to Breaking Bread & Building Bridges, having made all of his officers available to engage in our program. It will take us several years to reach the entire Dallas Police Department, but with the help and support of our partners, collaborators and sponsors, we are undoubtedly on track to change the community… and maybe even change the world!

Get Involved, Make a Difference!

Featured News

2021-2022 Faiths in Conversation series – Hinduism & Justice
Join us on Monday, Dec. 13 for Hinduism & Justice, the fourth installment in our Faiths in Conversation series on Faith & Justice. This session will feature Rita D. Sherma, Director of the Shingal Center for Dharma Studies, chair of the Department of Theology & Ethics, Core Doctoral Faculty, and Co-Chair of Sustainability 360 initiative at the Graduate Theological Union (GTU), Berkeley. The program respondent is Dr. Jonathan Wyn Schofer, Associate Professor of Religious Studies, with affiliation in the Schustermann Center for Jewish Studies.Faiths in Conversation is presented by the Interfaith Council of The Thanks-Giving Foundation, SMU Perkins School of Theology, and The Dallas Holocaust and Human Rights Museum, and co-sponsored by The SMU Office of the Chaplain and Religious Life, The Dallas Institute of Humanities and Cultures, and The Dallas Bar Association Equality Committee. In this series, our scholars discuss how different religions understand justice in theory and practice, and as a historical ideal. The themes explored in the series include human rights, human dignity, social justice, human responsibility, and social order.For more information and to register, click here.
Join us at Thanks-Giving Square at noon on Friday, Dec. 24 for the 43rd Annual Dallas TUBACHRISTMAS. The free event will feature traditional Christmas music played by 250+ tuba and euphonium players from across North Texas. Santa will be on site as well as food trucks for your enjoyment.Started in 1974 by Harvey Phillips as a tribute to his teacher and mentor William J. Bell, the first TUBACHRISTMAS took place at Rockefeller Plaza Ice Rink in New York City. Each year since then, TUBACHRISTMAS is hosted in dozens of cities across the country. Thanks-Giving Square is proud to host TUBACHRISTMAS in Dallas, which attracted more than 2,000 people the last time the event was held here in 2019.Tuba and euphonium players interested in participating can click here for more information.
Random Acts of Kindness
Thanks-Giving Square is partnering with Dallas Police Department officers during November and December to enable random acts of kindness throughout the Dallas community. With your support, The Square will help purchase food, toys and winter clothing for law enforcement officials to distribute to those in need.If you would like to contribute to this initiative, you can donate online via our website at or by mailing a check to:Random Acts of Kindness
Thanks-Giving Square
1627 Pacific Ave.
Dallas, TX 75201

Shop Thanks-Giving Square

Looking for a unique gift this holiday season?

Visit our online gift shop here to browse branded mugs, t-shirts, art, gratitude cards and “in-lieu-of-gift” cards.

Did You Know?

President George H.W. Bush gave remarks at The Thanks-Giving Square Dedication Ceremony on Nov. 1, 1991. The following is an excerpt of his speech:

“Here at this unique shrine of gratitude, I want to offer thanks. I want to pay grateful tribute to all those who envisioned and built Thanks-Giving Square. I would, of course, single out Peter Stewart, who has been with this from its very inception. His conviction and his dedication are well-known to everybody here and all across this great city.”

To read the full remarks, click here.

Gratitude Spotlight

Expressions of gratitude left by visitors on our Gratitude Wall.

Partner Feature

Downtown Dallas, Inc. Foundation
Downtown Dallas, Inc. Foundation is the charitable arm of Downtown Dallas, Inc. whose purpose is to help make the area in and around Downtown Dallas a more vibrant and livable place for both daytime and permanent residents by promoting the development of parks and open spaces, diverse cultural, educational and recreational resources, and amenities.
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