Celebrating Juneteenth at Latham Centers

At our June 2nd Community Meeting, Patrice Carroll asked students if anyone could tell her what Juneteenth is. A typically verbose crowd of students was stumped! Katrina Fryklund noted, “This reaction epitomizes why Latham Centers has formed a committee of members from the Children’s and Adult Services Programs to celebrate Juneteenth as an organization and enhance cultural awareness on campus and in our adult residential homes.”

Juneteenth, celebrated on June 19th, is the oldest nationally celebrated commemoration of the ending of slavery in the United States. Juneteenth commemorates African American freedom and emphasizes education and achievement.

With support and guidance from the University of Texas at Dallas Multicultural Center, national experts in Juneteenth, Latham has created a program to celebrate this day with staff and residents annually. The program will consist of poetry and spoken word from members of the University’s Multicultural Program, along with a recording from American Hip Hop and spoken word artist ShySpeaks.

We look forward to celebrating with our students on June 18th in a 45-minute class block which will include:

  • reading a virtual book on Juneteenth written by Lynn Peppas,

  • multiple song breaks, including the classic, “We’ve got the whole world in our hands,” and

  • learning how to draw the Juneteenth flag.

Latham staff will also have an opportunity to celebrate on June 21st, and we encourage staff and friends of Latham Centers to attend and invite loved ones. (More information on the virtual event will be announced next week). The program will include:

  • a reading of the Emancipation Proclamation,

  • recorded spoken word by ShySpeaks,

  • live poetry from four amazing poets,

  • ending words from Arthur Greg, Multicultural Affairs, University of Texas, and

  • concluding staff reading and comments.

The committee and the Latham Centers community looks forward to creating a new tradition and cultural celebration in our program. Stay tuned for more information and updates about Juneteenth and these events as we lead up to June 19th!

To learn more about Juneteenth and the University of Texas Multicultural Program, click below:


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