By Kaity Coisman
GREEN BAY – The We All Rise: African American Resource Center is hosting its fourth annual Juneteenth celebration on June 17, 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.
The celebration will be filled with live entertainment including music, dance and games.
There will also be free food and drinks as well as a special kid’s pop-up shop.
Juneteenth will take place in Joannes Park, 215 S. Baird St., Green Bay.
Juneteenth Coordinator Ivy Summers said “Juneteenth, Black Freedom Day, is our celebration commemorating the abolition of slavery. Even though President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863, it took until June 19, 1864, and the use of US military force in Galveston, Texas, to enforce the end of slavery. In 2019, we started planning for our first annual Juneteenth event, which was not only for Black folks but also planned by Black folks. Our mission is to come together in fellowship and celebrate Black freedom and call attention to the continued struggle and oppression of Black people in this country.”
Summers continued to reflect on her memories of past Juneteenth celebrations.
“It’s been an absolute joy to see our community come together in joy and love. Seeing families being together sharing music, food, games and joy is life giving,” Summers said.
The celebration is open to the public with a, “… free community meal, free games, music and much more.”
The vision of We All Rise is, “to create and help restore a vibrant African American community. Through uplifting, skill building and intentionally targeting root causes of systemic oppression, we actively promote the healing of all,” the We All Rise website stated.
The organization is known for its holistic approach which includes victim health services, skill building, mentorship, housing, educational services, employment, family support and much more.
The nonprofit started back in 2017 with the current executive director, Robin Scott.
The program has continued to grow since 2017 and recently has “… acquired All Seasons Transformation (AST) a 49-bed transitional living facility for men who are experiencing a transition in their lives. This secure and sober facility serves men of all ages through advocacy, safety and support,” said Summers.
There are also other programs that are being introduced at We All Rise including a Financial Fitness Series in partnership with BMO and a GED course onsite in partnership with NWTC.
The event will include 47 different vendors from all different corners of the business industry.
“We All Rise is looking to give back to the community and celebrate. Through the generous gifts and sponsorships, we are able to put together a free community event to celebrate and highlight the Black community,” said Summers.
The main message that the Juneteenth coordinator wanted to get across was, “even though Juneteenth is Black Freedom Day, there is still work that needs to be done in our community and country for Black folks to truly be free.”
To learn more about Juneteenth or We All Rise go to weallriseaarc.org.