Today, Americans across the country have an opportunity to celebrate the Emancipation Proclamation which ended slavery in the United States. Founded first in Texas in 1865, the holiday has had ebbs and flows in celebration and acknowledgement. In a season where it is vital to celebrate the lives of fellow Black Americans, here are ways Juneteenth can be celebrated this week:
Engage in your company’s diversity team and policies to talk about different facts about the Black community as a means to dismantle and bring awareness to stereotypes.
During the month of June, have a Black presenter talk in a company meeting about a topic relevant to your field.
In your community...
Consider asking a place you spend time in regularly how they can participate in celebrating Juneteenth.
Create a post on your social media bringing awareness of Juneteenth and encourage viewers to share your post.
Make a banner or flag that celebrates Juneteenth to display outside your home.
Google events in your community to see how Juneteenth will be celebrated in light of COVID-19. Or consider hosting an outdoor, socially distanced event yourself.
Reflect and journal what freedom means to you and share that with your family/household.
Make a meal in honor of Juneteenth to enjoy or share with others in your household - or deliver meals to your friends and have an online meal to honor the day.
Watch movies that celebrate/educate about Black Americans, their culture and the meaning of freedom.
The world as we know it is filled with both pain and hope. Even though the news and actions conveyed on the news has shown violence towards our fellow Black brethren, these actions mentioned above and other ideas you come up with are radical acts of softness to help create systemic change in our communities. It takes a series of individual actions to help foster change and as a fellow human being, I want to do my part by sharing this piece. I hope this writing inspires you to take action.
Lou Lim, LMHC, REAT is a licensed mental health counselor and registered expressive arts therapist (REAT) with a master's degree in Expressive Therapy and Mental Health Counseling from Lesley University. He is a member of the International Expressive Arts Therapy Association and on the committee for REAT credentialing. He has 13 years of experience in counseling and expressive therapy working with children, adolescents, teenagers, adults, and retirees.
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