NJAC, along with the rest of New Jersey, celebrates Juneteenth on Friday, June 18. We encourage you to celebrate the significance of Juneteenth as we continue to think of ways to eliminate structural and overt racism and discrimination in our communities and our country.
On June 19, 1865, the last of the enslaved finally learned they were free. However, we must recognize the 156 years of continued struggle and progress for Black people in America.
Learning More About Juneteenth
How you choose to spend the Juneteenth Holiday is entirely up to you; however, because NJAC is an agency rooted in the work of social justice, here are a few suggestions.
- Watch “Juneteenth: Freedom At Last” visiting https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JOOguH71–E
- Take action to fight injustice by volunteering with, or donating to, a civil rights organization.
- Watch “What Happened After the First Juneteenth” by visiting https://time.com/3914574/juneteenth/
- Perform an Act of Kindness this month.
- Watch “Juneteenth: By the Numbers” by visiting https://www.cnn.com/2013/06/18/us/btn-juneteenth/index.html
- Exercise, meditate, or access free counseling and other essential resources offered through our NJAC EAP program.
- Attend a peaceful protest.
- Safely gather friends and neighbors in your backyard for a picnic or cookout.
- Shop at black-owned businesses
- Attend a local event – check out some options below:
- A Juneteenth Celebration: Live From Newark Symphony Hall – The City of Newark and the Alpha Lambda Chapter of the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity will host a live Juneteenth event at Newark Symphony Hall beginning at 7 p.m. It will be an evening of visual and performing arts, with performances from the public and Newark Mayor Ras Baraka. The event will air live on Channel 78 and on Newark Symphony Hall’s Facebook and YouTube pages.
- Juneteenth Weekend Celebration in Trenton – A three-day celebration at Mill Hill Park in Trenton kicks off on June 18. Activities include a freedom bike ride, a gospel celebration and discussions about children’s literacy.
- Neptune/Asbury Park Juneteenth Celebration – This Juneteenth celebration kicks off at Midtown Commons Park at 11 a.m. on June 19 with speakers, sign making and more. A parade begins at 1:15. And a festival featuring performances, vendors and vaccinations starts at 2 p.m. at Springwood Avenue Park in Asbury Park.
- Cherry Hill inaugural Juneteenth Parade and Festival, the first year in which Juneteenth is officially recognized as a state holiday in New Jersey. The festival will take place at Croft Farm from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on June 19, township officials announced. It is presented by the Cherry Hill African American Civic Association in conjunction with Cherry Hill Township and Cherry Hill Police Department.
- Passaic County Juneteenth Celebration, Sat Jun 19, 2021 9:00am: $5 per game at Garret Mountain Reservation. Swing over to Garret Mountain Reservation for a celebration of Black history and heritage. Compete in fun games like chess, checkers, double dutch, spades, Connect 4, horseshoes, corn hole, and dominoes. Live music, poetry, and food round out the fun. The game participation fee is used toward prizes.
This moment of remembrance is just one component of change. As an agency, NJAC continues efforts to identify steps that will enhance our commitment to structural change, anti-racism, and gender-affirming practices so that our staff and clients feel as if they are treated with respect and have the support needed to thrive.