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June 17: Juneteenth Freedom Celebration

Updated: Jun 2, 2023

Juneteenth, also known as Freedom Day, is a significant commemoration in American history. On this day, we celebrate the emancipation of enslaved African Americans and acknowledge the progress made towards equality and freedom. Juneteenth holds immense importance as it symbolizes the enduring struggle for liberty and serves as a reminder of the work that remains to be done. This year, Odyssey World is hosting a remarkable Juneteenth Freedom Celebration at Esther Short Park on June 17, from 1:00 PM to 7:00 PM.

  • 1:00 PM: Welcome, Land Acknowledgment, and Prayer: The festivities kick off with a warm welcome from Malcolm Hoover, the event's host, who will set the tone for the day's activities. Following the welcome, Ma Caroline will deliver a land acknowledgement, paying respects to the Indigenous people who originally inhabited the land. Pastor Lee will lead a prayer, fostering a spirit of unity and reflection.

  • 1:30 PM: Praze Worship (Gospel Singers): The powerful voices of the Gospel Singers will fill the air with uplifting melodies during the Praze Worship session. This soul-stirring performance will evoke emotions and create an atmosphere of joy and reverence.

  • 2:30 PM: ThaJewler (Hip Hop DJ): ThaJewler, a talented Hip Hop DJ, takes the stage to infuse the event with energetic beats. His music will set the rhythm for the afternoon, ensuring a lively and memorable experience for attendees of all ages.

  • 3:30 PM: Guest Speakers: A series of influential guest speakers will captivate the audience with their inspiring words and enlightening perspectives. The Historic Trust, an organization dedicated to preserving local history, will share insights into the historical significance of Juneteenth. NAACP Act-So winners will also be honored, recognizing the academic achievements and resilience of young African American students. Additionally, Black Men in Training, a local community organization, will share their experiences and aspirations, promoting empowerment and positive change.

  • 4:00 PM: The Mix (Funk): The Mix, a dynamic funk band, will take center stage, infusing the atmosphere with their infectious energy and groovy tunes. Their vibrant performance will invite everyone to let loose, dance, and celebrate the spirit of Juneteenth.

  • 5:30 PM: Jujuba (Afro-beat/Funk): As the day progresses, Jujuba, a renowned Afro-beat and funk band, will bring their unique blend of African rhythms and funky melodies to Esther Short Park. Their captivating performance will transport attendees to the vibrant sounds of the African diaspora, creating a powerful connection to the roots of Black culture.

The Juneteenth Freedom Celebration at Esther Short Park in Vancouver, Washington, offers an opportunity for the community to come together, honor the historical significance of Juneteenth, and embrace unity. From the heartfelt speeches by guest speakers to the soulful melodies of Gospel Singers, Hip Hop beats by ThaJewler, and electrifying performances by The Mix and Jujuba, this event promises to be a memorable and empowering experience. By attending and participating, we can continue to raise awareness, promote inclusivity, and work towards a more equitable future. Let us celebrate Juneteenth and reaffirm our commitment to building a society that recognizes the inherent value and dignity of every individual.


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