The chorus of our Austin community includes diverse people with varying experiences, Austin FC has the privilege of celebrating the full sound. "Lift Every Voice" shares the authentic perspectives of Black Austinites, creates opportunities to grow, and partners with local organizations focused on empowering future generations.

2024 Honoree - Dr. Gloria Quinlan

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"I'm preparing you for the stages of the world".

- Dr. Gloria Quinlan

That is a quote familiar to all of Dr. Gloria Quinlan's students, a career spanning decades of service through music. "Dr. Q", as she is affectionally called, served as Professor of Music, Voice/Choral, and Director of the Concert Choir / Chair of the Humanities and Fine Arts Department for Huston-Tillotson University. Huston-Tillotson is a proud Historically Black College / University (HBCU) and Austin's oldest institution of higher learning. The same pride that flows through HTU drives Dr. Quinlan to use her voice to empower others.

A native of Houston, TX, Dr. Quinlan was influenced by many places and people that supported her development. People like the late Professor Ruth C. Stewart, her undergraduate voice teacher at Texas Southern University, shaped her to become a polished singer and ensured that she appreciated the power of her culture. The many Black women educators she experienced growing up set the tone for her approach. "I didn't consciously build my own legacy because I was too busy looking for students who were as devoted to music as I was", shared Dr. Quinlan. "I never knew who would be influenced by the sharing of my gift. I just did the work."

Music is essential to the city of Austin, as it continues to show itself as one of the World's universal languages and a voice for those whose voices have been historically silenced. That fact is not missed on Dr. Quinlan. "Music can heal, comfort, make you angry, uncomfortable, sad, happy. Music can cross barriers such as race and politics much more easily than other forms of communication", she stated. "Music, especially live music (for which Austin is known), is so rewarding because it creates community or an intimate relationship between the musician(s) and the audience, and between the audience members themselves."

Coming out of the tradition of "folk music", often referred to as the music of the people, Dr. Quinlan is keenly aware of the power it holds. "The intensity of shared experiences creates the conditions for making music with a message of strength, hope and perseverance meant to encourage the individuals experiencing the difficult circumstances", declared Dr. Quinlan. Those songs are not just songs, they agitate and motivate change. "These songs have served as fuel to continue the fight for justice and have contributed significantly to major victories in the struggle for freedom, equality and justice. I am confident such creative efforts will continue in the future."

The city of Austin is stronger...and sounds better....because of the passion, leadership, and voice of Dr. Quinlan.

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Black Austin Tours

Founded and led by Dr. Javier Wallace, Black Austin Tours engages, educates, and inspires our community by discovering the rich and vibrant history of Austin’s Black community.  ATXFC staff took a historical walking tour through the presence of Black people in the heart of downtown Austin, learning of Austin’s establishment in 1839 and the integral part that people of African descent have played in the city’s development.

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