I’m feeling too wiped out to write much (which probably means i’ll end up writing more than intended), but wanted to share one of the projects i’ve been working on since last year: My city’s Juneteenth Celebration! And in the process i would like to remind us all of how awesome public libraries are, and how privileged we are to have them around. Treasure your local library, support your librarians, help grow their programs–especially in regards to diversity, equity and inclusion as it relates to literacy, help with outreach and don’t forget… help fight off the ever looming budget cuts to their operations.
This was a shout out to the Yolo County Library and its regional manager, Scott Love, for being a catalyst in making the Yolo Juneteenth Celebration an annual event (it used to be hosted every two years or so) and to Katrina Laws-Ewald, Youth Services Librarian at the Mary L. Stephens branch. Katrina has done such fantastic and incredible work on all fronts, from programming to delightful video content and editing honoring fallen Black lives, Black artists and Black excellence. She also created a Juneteenth Triva, which is featured on the website and will be shared during the live stream event. She is fire!
Our Juneteenth Celebration takes place before June 19 not just to wet everyone’s appetite leading to the date of the holiday, but also in solidarity of all the local celebrations happening in our area: it makes it possible for families to attend several events and enjoy the festivities even more. This year’s theme is “Still We Rise”, a node to the challenges past that we have overcome, and to the ones we are handling right now.
What is Juneteenth?
“Juneteenth (short for “June Nineteenth”) marks the day when federal troops arrived in Galveston, Texas in 1865 to take control of the state and ensure that all enslaved people be freed. The troops’ arrival came a full two and a half years after the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation. Juneteenth honors the end to slavery in the United States and is considered the longest-running African American holiday.” Source: History.com. There is a growing effort to make this a national holiday (check out our website).
When is the live event happening?
Sunday, June 6, 2021. Virtual doors will open at 1:15 pm PST to kick us off with music and trivia and surprises.
Join us on YouTube. Invite your friends and family, organize a watch party! Help us spread the word.
Our Juneteenth website is up: visit it for further information on the holiday and for shared resources, including book recommendations: https://www.yolojuneteenth.org.
Check out the Black-owned businesses who helped us bring it to life this year:
The Breast Monologues (drawn from lived experiences, this is an inspiring one-woman play about breast cancer survivors and their stories);
Black Magickal Joy (apparels and items that celebrate melanin super-powers!):
TheArthur Wright, Master Fine Artist and a special guest of the event (his artwork is… Words can’t do it justice.);
An Old Negro Spiritual, by Marcus McGee (An African American “Must Read,” with Judge Clarence Thomas as the modern “Scrooge”);
Urban Advocates & Achievers (Education 1st Responders stopping the school-to-prison-pipeline);
The Happy Neighborhood Project (HNP helps small business owners by humanizing the review system.);
The Culture C.O.-O.P. (link below)
Special thanks, gratitude and shout to the phenomenal Sandy Holman and her organization, the Culture C.O.-O.P.; Sandy is the driving force behind the creation and organizing of Yolo County Juneteenth Festival. You have probably already heard about her, as she has been mentioned on this blog before as the producer of the award-winning documentary THE COST OF DARKNESS.
Multiculturalism Rocks’ contributions: I served on the Juneteenth organizing committee for the past three years, helped with this year’s virtual transition, designed and developed the website, created some of its written content, worked with the event’s vendors by creating a platform that aims to give them visibility throughout the year. Outreach is always part of the deal. As with all projects there has been some challenges, but it has been an honor to be a part of this journey and to be recognized as a sponsor of the event.
Thanking this year’s sponsors for their support not just of this event, but for the practical ways they show genuine commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion through their private and/or county programs:
The Yolo County Library
The Friends of the Davis Library
The City of Davis Arts & Cultural Affairs Program
The Culture C.O.-O.P.
The Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation
The Travis Credit Union
The Yolo Federal Credit Union
First Northern Bank
The California Housing Finance Agency
The UC Davis Office of Campus Community Relations
The Davis Media Access
This is it! See you tomorrow at 1:15 pm? If you missed the live recording, the video will remain online for the foreseeable future. Thank you for helping spread the word! RT, FB & blog re-posts are appreciated. Peace!