Juneteenth, also known as Freedom Day, Juneteenth is a celebration held annually on the 19th of June to commemorate the emancipation of the last remaining enslaved African Americans in the Confederacy in 1865.
While gathering, organizing and/or protesting have historically been the way folks would come together in celebration, with the current global pandemic it is suggested to pivot the plan. Here are some ways you can take action.
- Register to vote. There have been countless rallies against racism in America over the years, but if you aren’t taking the step to register and actively vote each year, you are not fully supporting the cause.
- Contact elected officials to voice your concerns and advocate for change.
- Be informed: Be sure to do your due diligence to research the topic as well as current laws and policies so your voice is effectively heard. Countable is one resource that allows you to track pending legislation, learn more about it, as well as contact your local elected officials directly.
- Pro tip: Phone calls are typically more effective than emails as emails are depersonalized and can easily be ignored.
- Complete the Census. Federal funding and representation are determined by the census taken every 10 years. Data from the census determines how hundreds of billions of federal dollars, also known as YOUR tax dollars, are dispersed each year to communities, schools, hospitals and roads.
- Share resources.
- Jury duty: While most people deem jury duty as an inconvenient and try to get out of their civic responsibility, black and brown jurors are important now more than ever. The United States has a long history of racial discrimination in jury selection. Black jurors influence outcomes. Research shows that having even one black juror changes a trial’s outcome and in some cases this is literally the one person to save or change a person’s life. Some studies have found that seating just one African American on the jury has reduced the rate of convictions for black defendants by ten percent.
- Buy Black. Large companies have a history of oppressing small and black owned businesses and putting a heavy burden on low-income communities. By buying black, you are assisting in closing the racial wealth gap which in turn strengthens local economies and has a positive domino effect like the creation of more jobs.
- Inter-generational conversations: Our community is hurting. It’s time to build better relationships and communication between younger and older adults. Conversation around what we can do together that we cannot do apart should be mindful, intentional and strategic. Be sure conversations acknowledge the shared problems but being mindful each of us have lived different experiences. While emotions may run high, the process must be purposeful to not only heal but to define systems of accountability.
- Support those on the front lines. There is power in numbers. While you may not run to your local protest since there is still an active global pandemic, you can still use your voice socially and digitally to help support those on the front lines fighting the good fight.