Real Families, Real Issues

Better stories, clearer conversations, and engaging experiences that move hearts and minds toward empathy and action.

What we do

While people living in some parts of San Antonio have every opportunity to thrive, others struggle against limited opportunities to do the basic things that make for a strong future: receive a quality education, enjoy access to good physical and mental health care, find a good-paying job, join a cohesive faith community, and more. Because many of us rarely interact with people who live several miles away from our neighborhood, we may harbor misguided perceptions or myths about why people face certain challenges.

We tell stories about families and children from various backgrounds and circumstances in our magazine, Echoes, and on other platforms. We host events that gather people for meaningful discussion around inequity in San Antonio and provide experiences designed to educate and inspire people toward personal and social change.

 

Our Stories

Below is a preview of some of the stories we’ve published.
For more, visit echoes.hebfdn.org.

A Story in Motion

Shanicka was pregnant with her first baby at 17, before high school graduation, and Danzel has a daughter with an ex-girlfriend. They have one more kid together, with another on the way, and rely on a nearby charity to help with child care. Danzel has a petty crime record he’s working to put further and further behind him: “I haven’t been in trouble for 10 years,” he says.

Chances are, their lives don’t sound much like yours.

But ask them what pressures they’re facing day to day, and you get the most relatable reply in the world.


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If Nothing Had Ever Gone Wrong

I’m a part of a strange tribe of the middle class I call the “elite poor.” My husband and I have strong educations and full resumes, and we have held well-paying jobs in the past. We own a home, and we know what stability feels like. But a few years ago, we chose to make less money so we could be present with our children as they grew up.

Our plan would have worked perfectly if nothing had ever gone wrong.

My husband and I were the first in our families to graduate from college. Our parents and society led us to believe that completing college was the only way to become successful—no matter the cost. So we completed our degrees and accrued copious debt. I came to terms with the sad fact that we’d never pay off our loans, and in my mind I equated them with Social Security—something we would pay into without end.


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Transformative Justice … and Accordions

Annabelle, a fifth grader, is dancing with her college-aged camp counselor on a Monday morning in the old limestone building of Martinez Street Women’s Center in Dignowity Hill, a neighborhood just east of downtown San Antonio. The girl’s vibrant personality matches her bright orange shirt and purple glasses—it is no surprise that she is the first girl to start dancing.

Nearly 65 people stand in a circle around them, and, because it is the counselor’s birthday, they are singing the traditional Mexican birthday song “Las Mañanitas.”


Read more
Read our latest stories online or subscribe today to get the free quarterly print edition of Echoes delivered to your doorstep.

Contact

The Storytelling team is based out of our San Antonio office at 153 Treeline Park, Suite 330, San Antonio, TX 78209.
For inquiries, please contact Dacrie Brooks.


Director of Storytelling

Dacrie Brooks

dbrooks@hebfdn.org

Dacrie began her career in New York City as a senior media relations executive. With more than 20 years of communications expertise, she specializes in dynamic and memorable storylines to help companies increase brand visibility and market share.

She has secured countless business articles for her clients in publications such as the Wall Street Journal, Fast Company, TIME, and Forbes (cover story).

A writer, speaker, trainer, and coach, Dacrie has a passion for building authentic relationships and teaching women how to overcome negative self-talk. She has a bachelor’s degree in mass communications from Mary Baldwin University in Staunton, Virginia. Dacrie is the first person in her family to graduate from college and break the cycle of generational poverty.

Dacrie currently resides in San Antonio, Texas. In her spare time, she enjoys writing, teaching Zumba Fitness classes, and traveling around the world with her family.

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