Observing and Celebrating Juneteenth in 2020


June 17, 2020 | by Amber Smock

Observing and Celebrating Juneteenth in 2020

Dear Access Living friends and allies,

This coming Friday is Juneteenth, and today we’d like to share resources for observing Juneteenth no matter where you are. 2020 is the 155th anniversary of June 19, 1865, the day on which news of the Emancipation Proclamation finally, after two and a half years, reached Galveston, Texas. On that day, the Union General Gordon Granger read federal orders that all previously enslaved persons in Texas were free; at the time, 250,000 people were still enslaved in Texas. Today, Juneteenth is observed as the oldest national commemoration of the ending of slavery in the United States, and honoring the millions of lives lost to racist hatred and brutality. Read more about the history of Juneteenth at this link and also at this link.

In past years, Juneteenth has been the occasion for countless community and family gatherings; now during the Covid-19 pandemic, many online opportunities have been developed as well.

We’d like to especially highlight Friday’s Congressional briefing. Led by the Partnership for Inclusive Disaster Strategies, the briefing will discuss inequality and the disproportionate impacts of Covid response on black disabled communities. Along with a panel of speakers, Access Living’s Healthcare Policy Analyst Angel Love Miles, Ph.D. will be presenting! See the final paragraph of this page* for the full list of speakers.

Event Details:
What: “Inequality and the Disproportionate Impacts of Covid Response on Black Disabled Communities” Virtual Congressional Briefing
When: Friday, June 19, 2020 at 10-11 a.m. CDT
Where: Virtua
Accessibility: CART and ASL will be provided
RSVP: Register for the briefing at this link.

Other ways to observe and celebrate Juneteenth:

Here is a compilation of more opportunities to observe and learn about Juneteenth, both in Chicago and online.

We hope this helps prepare you with some options for your Juneteenth plans.

*Presenters for the June 19th Congressional briefing on COVID-19 and Black communities include Valerie Novack, Board President of The Partnership for Inclusive Disaster Strategies and Fellow at Center for American Progress; Justice Shorter, Disaster Protection Advisor, National Disability Rights Network; Anita Cameron – Director of Minority Outreach, Not Dead Yet; Healthcare/Home and Community Based Services Policy Analyst, Access Living; and Tyree Brown, Recipient, Money Follows the Person.