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This Saturday, June 19th, Americans will celebrate Juneteenth, the holiday that commemorates the Emancipation Proclamation and African American freedom. This date, over 150 years ago, was only a start to fighting the social injustice against Black Americans, as unfortunately, we are continuing the fight today. We want to celebrate the accomplishments of all the Black Americans constantly fighting an uphill battle, share how you can get more involved in helping and become more informed on Juneteenth, and support the Black community.
Fighting Social Injustice
Everyone needs to play a part in fighting social injustice. No matter your role in society, or what you have or haven’t done in the past to help, now is the time to help. It isn’t enough to not be racist; you need to be anti-racist by actively opposing racism and supporting equality. Here are ways you can do so:
- Support Black-owned businesses. These are great places to find Black-owned restaurants, shops, and local businesses:
- Become a part of a Social Justice Organization
- Share anti-racism videos with your students or kids
- Contact your local Congressperson to make positive changes in your community and elect leaders fighting for social justice
Celebrating Black Leaders in STEM
Black Americans are underrepresented in STEM and we want to recognize these hard-working leaders. With more support and recognition we hope to build on the representation of Black Americans in the field.
- Kimberly Bryant – Electrical Engineer & Founder of Black Girls Code. “Kimberly has been nationally recognized as a thought leader for her work to increase opportunities for women and girls in the technology industry and has received numerous awards for her work with Black Girls Code” – read more on her LinkedIn.
- Dr. Stephon Alexander – professor at Brown University who specializes in string theory and particle physics. He co-invented a model that helps to explain the early expansion of the universe. Author of The Jazz of Physics.
- Angela Benton – One of the most influential women in technology. “She is a pioneer of diversity in the technology industry and raising awareness around the inequalities that exist in the industry. In 2011 she founded NewME, the first accelerator globally for minorities.” – read more on her website.
- Mark Dean – Co-founder of the color PC monitor. Dean also led a team of engineers at IBM to create the first gigahertz chip. He holds three of the company’s original nine patents.
Of course, there are countless others who continue to innovate, progress, and excel in STEM. You can also read more about minorities in STEM in our interview with Bunmi Babajide conducted back in February.
Juneteenth In School
Here is some literature for summer school, or when school resumes, to teach students more about Juneteenth, a holiday that doesn’t get enough attention in school because it falls during most schools’ summer break.
- Juneteenth for Mazie by Floyd Cooper
- All Different Now: Juneteenth, the First Day of Freedom by Angela Johnson
- Sophie and Lelah Celebrate Juneteenth by L. Monique Gonzales
- Juneteenth by Vaunda Micheaux Nelson & Drew Nelson
There are also plenty of Juneteenth activities that you can complete in or out of school. Here are a few:
- Teachers Pay Teachers – Various Activities
- Learning for Justice – Teaching Juneteenth
- TCEA – Digital Resources to Celebrate and Teach Juneteenth
We hope you take this Juneteenth to celebrate, recognize, and support Black Americans. We still have a long way to go in America to follow our Pledge of Allegiance and give “justice for all.” Visit Juneteenth.com to learn more about the special day in Black history and learn where and how you can celebrate.