Sunday Spread: Sanctuary Never Tasted So Sweet

Dallas is a place of innovative change, driven by amazingly visionary and hardworking folks; and, at Union Coffee we are proud to have fueled the work of these visionaries with coffee and community for over 6 years. As Union grew to articulate a theory of change focused on developing leaders, we began to dream. What if we, Union, started a brunch worship gathering to empower and encourage leaders for our city?

Sunday Spread emerged from these musings. Since the fall of 2017 we have talked with some of the dynamic leaders, activists, advocates, entrepreneurs, coffee drinkers and change connoisseurs of Dallas to curate a worship experience chocked full of all things Dallas—brunch, blues, engaging discussion, Jesus and good freaking coffee.

On the first and second Sunday, we gather at Checkered Past Winery in the Cedars. We listen to one another, eat well, share our challenges, hear what Jesus meant when he preached about changing people and systems, and jam to bluesy hymns as we refresh ourselves for the hard work of pushing boundaries. Sunday Spread is a place where people and things that seem antithetical come together in joy and truth — even if only briefly. 

We’ve got the bourgeoise practice of brunch coupled with the soulful earthiness of blues...the vulnerability of deep honest discussion among friends with the communal liturgical performance of worship...the comfort of small groups with the support of corporate worship...the power of change makers at the edges of social innovation with the wisdom of a deeply connected community.  

Many of us at Sunday Spread also worship / serve within other faith communities, but twice a month we gather together to share our challenges and perspectives, refuel our creative hearts for the hard work of change in our city, our organizations, our neighborhoods, and the people we know leading them.

So, join us, 10:45 AM the first and second Sunday of every month at Checkered Past Winery.

Sanctuary never tasted so sweet.

Meet Our New Food Truck Manager!

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Meet Scott, our new Food Truck Manager! Follow our truck on Facebook and Instagram @unionfoodtruck to see where he’ll be!

Scott has spent most of his life in the Dallas area, apart from the five years living in Lubbock where he attended Texas Tech University (Wreck 'Em!). Scott has been involved with the Union community for several years where he has served on the Kuneo planning team and in the band, The Misfit Whatevers. With his love for coffee, people and Dallas, Scott is ready to take Union's mission and core values on the road with the Union Food Truck! In his spare time he can found making music, attending concerts, and seeing as many movies as possible. He also has a black lab named Rookie who is the sweetest pup you will ever meet. 

Thank you! North Texas Giving Day Results

To all of you: our community, our supporters, our sponsors, coffee lovers and Divine spark cultivators, thank you from the bottom of our hearts for helping us make North Texas Giving Day a success! 

It was our most successful fundraising day in Union history.
176 Donors (about 40 more than last year which is 30% growth)
$97,393 which is more than double what we raised last year!

We were in the top 2% of ALL NTGD non profits and among Medium-sized non profits, we had the sixth highest giving level.

North Texas Giving Day rolled out a personal FUNdraiser page option where people could enlist their friends to give and track those donations. Katie Newsome raised over $10,000 putting her in the TOP FOUR personal fundraisers!

Thank you to our friends at Christ's Foundry, Wesley Rankin Community Center, Junior Players, Big Thought, Window to the Wild, and Bridge Lacrosse for being part of our challenges to raise awareness for North Texas Giving Day. (You can watch all the challenge videos again here!)

Please enjoy some pictures from the week!

Ramping up for the Live Union Awards Show!

We’ve got some crazy, exciting things on the horizon! In the next couple of months, we will roll out the Union Food & Coffee Truck to begin serving the best coffee and breakfast sandwiches in Dallas. We are also excited to be participating in the tenth anniversary of North Texas Giving Day on September 20th and have a fantastic lineup of fun events planned. What kind of fun, you ask?

<drum roll, please>

The first ever Live Union Awards Show! <insert audible gasp here> You are invited to purchase tickets and tables for our big event on September 13th at 7:00pm. The night will feature live music, stories, delicious Tex-mex, awards and red carpet pictures as well as an outdoor reception with hardhat tours of our new location and food truck. If you’d like to organize a table or purchase a ticket, click the big orange button below. Reserve your spot quickly because space is limited to 75 people. 

For the tenth anniversary of North Texas Giving Day, Communities Foundation of Texas is encouraging ten days of giving. We’re lining up fun events on at least five of them so that you can connect with the most generous coffee shop in Dallas- for more information, check out the lineup on our North Texas Giving Day Page. Our goal is to raise $100,000 in ten days and we are confident that we can do it with your help. 

We have set this goal so that Union can continue to raise leaders in the city of Dallas who go on to change the world. I recently received an email from one of our former board members. After moving to New York, she recently started attending one of the oldest United Methodist Churches in the world- only to find that roughly 15-20 people showed up in worship on any given week. Half of them each week are visitors. Few of the visitors return. After approaching the pastor about the church’s enormous potential, she is now leading conversations with church and community members. Their goal is to revitalize this church that once gave life to a movement for social justice and the gospel. The closing words of her email — “I’m doing this because Union showed me how.”

Because of your generosity and leadership, our former board member is able to step up confidently and breath new life and ideas into her church. You are playing a crucial role in shaping millennials who will shape our world. I hope to see you at one of our North Texas Giving Day events.  

Meet Our New Community Curator for Kuneo!

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Emily was born and raised around Corpus Christi but has called Dallas home for the past several years. She studied Historical Studies and Gender Studies at the University of Texas at Dallas where she helped start the first inclusive campus ministry. She describes herself as a starter, but whether or not she is starting something new, she has always had a passion for learning. You will often times find her learning about people’s stories, reading a book, or doing something that will help her see a new perspective of the world. She is a huge geek and loves a great adventure every now and then. 

Meet Our New Community Curator for Studio!

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Sinclair Freeman is a native Texan and current college student. Before joining Union staff, they served on the Studio Planning Team for three years and taught preschool for four. In addition to working for Union, Sinclair also serves as the Director of Community Outreach at Oak Lawn United Methodist Church.

In their free time, Sinclair loves to read thick books, play arcade games, and go to the gym.

Meet Our New Community Curator for The Spread!

Meet Baranda Fermin! 

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Baranda is an accomplished nonprofit leader with experience in operations, training, community development, and research. She has a gift for seeing long range patterns and developing visions, yet her first love is writing. She has numerous published acticles including those in Social Forces, College & University, Better Homes & Gardens, and her book of prayers and prose published in 2017, For Our Boys: A Mother's Prayers. She makes a living doing strategic development and capacity building, but makes life beautiful by using words to share the stories our lives. She holds a PhD in Sociology from Michigan State University; a master’s in Human Development from Teachers College, Columbia University; and a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education from The University of Oklahoma. Her favorite things on earth are tacos and her son, Montgomery James.

Farewell, Matt Bell!

Farewell, Matt Bell!

This year feels like it had two different time periods.

A time when I was working a bar shift once a week and eating the three day old bagels for breakfast everyday at the shop on Dyer. I was taking a United Methodist history class, writing my commissioning paperwork, and going to Barley House after Studio and Kuneo.

Turning Readers Into Leaders

We have a new cause that we are supporting at Union and it is... READERS 2 LEADERS! Their mission is to develop and grow the reading skills of underserved Dallas children ages 3-12 so that they succeed in school and graduate prepared to live productive lives.

Readers 2 Leaders is a literacy program that serves West Dallas kindergarten and elementary students. We recognize that students who don't read on grade level by third grade are four times less likely to graduate high school, and we work to help all our students beat the odds. Readers 2 Leaders operates Booktown, home of our After-School Program, our lending library, special events, and parent education programs. We also provide reading tutoring in two DISD schools and a second After-School Program at a West Dallas charter school. 

Readers 2 Leaders provides high-quality, high-dosage reading instruction to more than 400 West Dallas children per year. What does that mean, exactly?

  • Their staff includes 5 trained education professionals who provide the bulk of reading instruction to students, with the support of more than 200 volunteer reading buddies.
  • Their after-school students receive 8 hours of additional reading tutoring per week, and in-school students receive at least 2 hours of tutoring per week. This seriously improves both their reading and their overall success in school.
  • Their summer camp students benefit from six weeks of reading and enrichment. In 2016, 90 percent of R2L campers did not experience the summer slide, more than any other program studied by Dallas education partnership organization Commit!

From May - August of 2017, 10% of all coffee sales at Union will benefit this great organization and the work that they are doing in our community. Make sure you come by and have a cup of the most generous coffee in Dallas. 

Highlight Reels and Bloopers

Written By: Angela Uno, M.Ed

As I sat in my bed wide-awake at 3AM, pulse racing, palms sweaty, ready to beat the high score on a Facebook game, my identity as a person with a Bipolar II disorder became abundantly clear. My identities play a large role in my life, directing the type of movie that will play out that day –or night. Some days it is a love story about being an ‘exotic Asian woman’ in the bustling nightlife of Dallas, and other days it is a thriller about the cycles of hypomania and depression that creep up on me. Each story weaves together to tell a tale about the struggle for identity in the fast-paced life of a 23 year old. Every person has these movies play out in their life; each one unique to the categories society puts them in. The combination of these categories is called intersectionality.

I started discovering intersectionality in my junior year of high school after reading the controversial essay by Peggy McIntosh called “White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Backpack” . I clearly remember being the only woman of color in my class fighting against my white female teacher about making us read this preposterous essay. I look back at the passion I had to deny the concept of privilege, and I can’t help but to laugh. There is so much irony in the fact that I had the privilege to deny privilege exists.

Today, I work as an educator in Dallas ISD in which the students are vastly different from the high income, white students I grew up with in California. When describing how DISD students are treated and how they are seen, the word ‘prison’ immediately comes to mind. First, they are bussed to school from all over the city, then they walk through metal detectors. The students have to be in certain areas of the school and the first words they hear at school tend to be “Where’s your badge”. I do what I do because of this disparity. I went to high school believing that if I did not apply to an Ivy League, I was doomed. These students can barely name one.

While many are quick to point to SES as the root of the problem, they are failing to see race, gender, sexuality, disability, English language status, citizenship, and all of the other identities that one person may have on. These identities are not easily shed nor do the people who wear them want to get rid of them. Unlike the cheesy Facebook tearjerker videos in which a low-income, Latina woman graduates as a valedictorian and becomes the first blah blah blah, people are more than just their highlight reels. There are powerful institutions that want you to believe that this story is the only story, but the cycle of failure is real.

If there’s one message I need people to understand, it is that recognizing intersectionality may be the best tool to break us out of this cycle. Denying intersectionality is an oversimplification of the problem. Talking about SES because talking about race is frightening is a problem. Talking about anything but privilege because ‘checking your privilege is so 2016’ IS A PROBLEM. Acknowledging that we all come from places of power and places of oppression is important. It means that we have common ground which allows to initiate change. It may be the spark that initiates conversation between a black woman from Oak Cliff and a white man from Highland Park because they both know what it’s like to be in a wheelchair. It may ignite people to desire progress and deny apathy. So, the first step is figuring out your own movie and then having the courage to go watch someone else’s.