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Our
Mission

We owe it to ourselves to celebrate Black American Freedom in all of its diverse representations, including Black Health, Black Wealth, and our shared Black History. #WeOweUS

Our
Ethos

We're all about inclusionism. We know that individuals are at their best when they identify with a community and that communities are only at their best when they identify all of their individuals. We aim to compel more of our Black community members to share their identities with us through our mission and vision. We march for it.

Our
Vision

We see a world and a locale where there is tangible evidence of Black people's inclusion and access to the fruits of our shared salad bowl society. We see ourselves thriving.

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Our
Investment

All proceeds from the Juneteenth March go towards the building fund of the Harlem Center.  The center is a 10-year effort started by a coalition of +30 New York centered, community based organizations (CBOs). Harlem Center will increase the capacity to address unmet needs and gaps in service delivery. 

 

Black non-profit organizations in New York receive less than 10% of the available funding from public and private sector fund managers, grantmakers, and gifters. The Coalition and The Center were originally organized to serve as a funding center to bootstrap these CBOs that serve millions of New Yorkers on shoestring budgets. 

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Harlem Center is a 20,000 sq.ft. community center offering services from +30 CBOs from across the 5 boroughs to provide community support services from economic inclusion to the arts to health/wellness and uplifting citizens affected by issues ranging from recidivism to anti-LGBTQ sentiments. 

Juneteenth History
1865 - Present

On June 19, 1865, enslaved African Americans in Texas were told they were free. A century and a half later, people across the U.S. continue to celebrate the day, which is now a federal holiday. 

Deriving its name from combining "June" and "nineteenth", it is celebrated on the anniversary of the order, issued by Major General Gordon Granger on June 19, 1865, proclaiming freedom for slaves in Texas. Originating in Galveston, Juneteenth has since been observed annually in various parts of the United States, often broadly celebrating African-American culture. The day was first recognized as a federal holiday in 2021, when President Joe Biden signed the Juneteenth National Independence Day Act into law after the efforts of Lula Briggs Galloway, Opal Lee, and others.

Early celebrations date to 1866, at first involving church-centered community gatherings in Texas. They spread across the South and became more commercialized in the 1920s and 1930s, often centering on a food festival. Participants in the Great Migration brought these celebrations to the rest of the country. During the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s, these celebrations were eclipsed by the nonviolent determination to achieve civil rights, but grew in popularity again in the 1970s with a focus on African American freedom and African-American arts. Beginning with Texas by proclamation in 1938, and by legislation in 1979, every U.S. state and the District of Columbia has formally recognized the holiday in some way. With its adoption in parts of Mexico, the holiday has become an international holiday. Juneteenth is celebrated by the Mascogos, descendants of Black Seminoles who escaped from slavery in 1852 and settled in Coahuila, Mexico.

Celebratory traditions often include public readings of the Emancipation Proclamation which promised emancipation for all slaves under Confederate control, singing traditional songs such as "Swing Low, Sweet Chariot" and "Lift Every Voice and Sing", and the reading of works by noted African-American writers, such as Ralph Ellison and Maya Angelou. Juneteenth celebrations may also include rodeos, street fairs, cookouts, family reunions, parties, historical reenactments, and Miss Juneteenth contests. In 2021, Juneteenth became the first new federal holiday since Martin Luther King Jr. Day was adopted in 1983.

The holiday is considered the "longest-running African-American holiday" and has been called "America's second Independence Day". Juneteenth is usually celebrated on the third Saturday in June. Historian Mitch Kachun considers that celebrations of the end of slavery have three goals: "to celebrate, to educate, and to agitate".

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General order No. 3 of June 19, 1865

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Band performing in Texas for Emancipation Day, 1900

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Emancipation Day celebration in Richmond, Virginia, 1905

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Flyer for a 1980 Juneteenth celebration at the Seattle Center

In June 2020 We started as a series of Protests

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The Juneteenth March was founded as a march to New York City Hall in 2020 to highlight multiple injustices and reforms at the center of the city's power. The march was initially started by NYC by a series of events from activists James Felton Keith, Tiffany Rea-Fisher, Brandon Murphy, Gabriel Garmon, Harold Waight and many other neighbors in Harlem from June 4th - June 19th. They came together with a larger group of activists weeks earlier and after the murder of George Floyd. It was a beautiful non-violent march from Harlem down 5th Ave to the Upper East Side of Manhattan that grew to thousands of New Yorkers as it moved south, ending just blocks from where the 5K will start in Central Park.

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The team is still intact and decided to evolve the original march into an event celebrating the health and wellness of Black people. So we created a 5K Run, Walk (march), Roll in the park!

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The Team

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James Felton Keith

CEO, Inclusion Score Inc

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Tiffany Rae-Fisher
Artistic Dir, EMERGE125

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Carmen Neely
President, Harlem Center

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Alison Mariella Désir 
Author | Co-Founder, Harlem Run

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Alisa Gregory
Dancer, Artist, EMERGE125

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Alex Khan
Student, Columbia Law

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Yamaneika Saunders
Award Winning Writer & Actor

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Peter Willumsen
Political Strategist

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