The History: Although the Emancipation Proclamation went into effect in 1863 to free all slaves, this message of freedom took time to spread throughout the Confederacy. It was not until after the Civil War ended in April 1865 that this message of freedom reached all the way to Galveston, Texas on June 19th of that same year.
Now: June 19th, or Juneteenth, is a day celebrated as the day of independence for African American and Black peoples in the United States of America. Freedom cannot be truly celebrated until we are all free, and that is the beauty of this holiday.
To learn more about the history of Juneteenth follow this link to the website from the National Museum of African American History & Culture.
Juneteenth is a day to celebrate liberation. To participate in Juneteenth celebrations check with your local community. If you're in the Seattle area look here for some ideas, or if you are in Oregon, this promises to be a big event!
Lastly, support your local Black-Owned businesses this week and every week of the year. Here are some Business Impact NW has worked with but there are many more -
Afella Jollof Restaurant focused on creating authentic Senegambian cuisine using fresh and high-quality ingredients.
Boon Boona Coffee Coffee company dedicated to building sustainable relationships with exporters and importers in African nations as well as creating an inclusive space for marginalized groups.
Central Cafe & Juice Bar Created by Bridgette Johnson, is an eco-conscious cafe offering espresso coffees, fresh-pressed juice lattes, smoothies, and teas in addition to pastries and deli items.
Chef Jalissa Culinary Co. A unique 'foodie experience' anyone can join - bringing everyone to the dinner table and using accessible recipes featuring a variety of world cuisines.
Isatou Properties A Black-owned real estate company led by Isatou Ceesay that aims to be the 'bridge over the language barrier' for their clientele.
Palacia Chamberlain Salon Studio Salon dedicated to creating an accessible and inclusive space for all hair care and styling needs.
Sukie's Candle Co. A forward-thinking candle company offering exotic hand-poured, made-to-order candles.
About the author
Alyssa Pizarro is the Strategic Partner & Diversity Officer at Business Impact NW. Alyssa is responsible for the organization’s relationships and diversity focus. Before this, Alyssa served as the Corporate Giving Officer at Business Impact NW for a year and a half. Alyssa’s previous nonprofit experience was in the Development Department at Yoga Behind Bars, from career beginnings as a 10-year fashion sales manager and director in New York before moving to Seattle in 2013. Alyssa has combined her passion for social justice and community engagement with her corporate experience to culminate in her current role at Business Impact NW. She completed one year of her MBA at Northeastern University and has a Bachelor’s degree from the State University of New York at Albany, with a double major in Anthropology & Women’s Studies. Alyssa is also a yoga instructor, a pup-mom, a forever-learner, and a fair-weather jogger.