SAN ANTONIO, Texas -- DreamWeek 2017 has kicked off, with a message to honor the past, take stock in the present, and present a vision for the future. 

​DreamVoice President and Founder Shokare Nakpodia said that organizers are hoping to allow people to vent a little bit.

For the fifth year, Dream Week in San Antonio will be a platform for self-expression, tolerance, diversity, and equality.

"The goal is really we just need to say, there shouldn't be any surprises really if you listen to people," Nakpodia said. 

This year more than 160 events and panel discussions will tackle a wide variety of topics.  

"Such as gun control, how people speak, talk about voting rights, obviously we still have issue of gender and religious rights as well," Nakpodia said.

While discussions will focus on specific issues, the annual MLK march becomes a melting pot of cultures and mouth pieces for civil rights. Now in its 30th year, organizers are expecting the biggest turn-out to date.

"I hope that we can hit the 500,000 folk mark this year. We're at about 350,000 which is still head and shoulders above every other march in the country," said District 2 City Councilman Alan Warrick.

Dream Week events provide the platform and the MLK Junior Commission awards the tools for success. This year more than $400,000 in scholarship money will be given to local students.

"It's really a great thing to see the city come together and focus on our young people because they are the future and they are Doctor King's dream and Doctor King's legacy," Warrick said.

It's through a legacy of peace and diversity that San Antonio reflects itself.

"We have very unique way of settling our conflicts with very little drama for a city this size," said Nakpodia.

An inspiring discussion, an exchange of ideas, and igniting change in the city we call home. 


• For more information on DreamWeek:

• For more on the MLK March: