ABOVE: Trae Tha Truth arrives at ‘Trae Day Family Fun Day’ at Aveva Stadium and is surrounded by supporters (Photo by Joshua McMillian)
For Houston rapper and philanthropist Trae Tha Truth, the season of giving is all year-round. From providing new computers to low-income apartments, to saving Houston residents during tropical storms through his Relief gang effort, it’s clear who our hometown hero really is.
Trae’s activism isn’t just limited to the city that he calls home. The artist declined an invitation to the White House to instead assist families of victims in the tragic Buffalo and Uvalde shootings.
“I was invited to the White House today to meet with the President with the families of those who have wrongfully been murdered by police,” he shared at the time of the invite. “But the people of Buffalo, NY are really in need as well as the families of the children murdered in Uvalde… So, I will have to pass, I will be in the field with the people in need.”
It is for these reasons among so many others that in 2008, former Houston Mayor Bill White designated July 22 as Trae Day in Houston, Texas. While the day was created as a day to celebrate and honor himself, Trae made it a day for the entire city of Houston. Since then, Trae Tha Truth has celebrated his special day with celebrity sports games, community service projects, back-to-school giveaways and more.
“Sometimes people need a soldier to lean on and give them that hope and motivation. So that’s what I do every Trae Day. Even though it’s my holiday, I made it a holiday for the city,” Trae expressed.
This year, Trae Tha Truth celebrated his day with a jam-packed program of events that spanned the entire weekend. On Saturday, July 23rd, Houstonians were treated to a ‘Family Fun Day’ at Aveva Stadium to celebrate the annual Trae Day holiday.
Before attendees reached the park to partake in ‘Family Fun Day’ they had the opportunity to stop at vaccine sites, provided by The Equitable Vaccination Acceptance and Distribution project (VAX HOU). VAX HOU is a grant-funded initiative by the Rockefeller Foundation to increase vaccine equity in Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC) and low-income communities around the city of Houston.
Several families stopped underneath the large tents to receive free vaccinations, ice cold water and gift cards for their participation.
Esther Bonojo, project manager for the VAX HOU project shared that the Vaccine Health Equity Grant is available to help give communities and vaccine-hesitant people the opportunity to get COVID vaccinated. She explained, “When you get vaccinated today you will get a $50 gift card for first and second doses, and boosters. All ages and all doses are available today and gift cards will be given on site after you get vaccinated.”
VAX HOU also ensured that doctors and health professionals were on-site to interact with the community and to provide accurate information to any unanswered questions that the community raised.
In true Houston fashion, attendees passed a collection of stunning slabs at the entrance to the Family Fun Day. “Slabs” are a popular type of custom cars that originated in Houston, Texas. (The name is said to be an acronym for “slow, loud, and bangin’.”)
Families filed into the huge carnival-themed park and were met with a petting zoo, pony rides for children, a Ferris wheel, ziplining, bungee jumping, swing rides and several inflatable water slides. Perhaps the best part about this community event is that it was completely free thanks to Trae That Truth and a host of corporate and local sponsors!
Guests kept cool in the summer heat with the cooling mist station and free water which was available at every turn.
A giant inflatable installation of Trae Tha Truth stood tall in the center of the field where guests were invited to take photos. Right across from the installation was a full sound stage where performances and back-to-school giveaways took place.
Vendors lined the field with various goods and merchandise available for purchase. Voter registration was provided by ‘Woke Vote’, who also educated attendees on previous voter suppression tactics by administering on-site Literacy Tests. In the past, Literacy Tests were used to keep people of color from voting. This demonstration was intended to empower the community to exercise their privilege and right to vote.