Make June 19 and June 20 days of action, introspection, participation, celebration and commitment to justice: tune in to two important virtual gatherings--The National Poor People's Assembly and Evanston's Juneteenth Event
Poverty, racism, power, powerlessness. These words scream out at us over and over again as the Covid-19 pandemic goes on and on. These words are words to which we should all have been paying attention long, long before the pandemic.
The disproportionate number of Black and brown people who have been diagnosed with Covid-19. The disproportionate number of them who have died.
The disproportionate number of Black and brown people whose lives are on the line every day in their positions as essential workers, many of whose jobs don't pay enough to pay the bills and put food on the table.
The fate of immigrants in this country who have died from Covid-19 because they are too afraid to come out of the shadows and ask for help.
The Memorial Day shootings in Chicago--the deadliest in four years--that left 10 people dead and 29 injured.
The murder of Ahmaud Arbery on February 23, 2020, which was covered up and dismissed for two months.
The despicable video of the white woman, Amy Cooper, lying to the police in New York this past Monday and falsely accusing a Black man, Christian Cooper, who was bird-watching in Central Park, of threatening her life.
The brutal police murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis later that day (it could so easily have been Christian Cooper), after they were called because Floyd was accused of forgery.
It goes on and on and on.
On Saturday, June 20, you can join many Evanstonians and get involved in a powerful national grassroots movement that's changing the status quo. The Poor People's Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival, which was to have a march on Washington next month, is instead holding a virtual assembly and I encourage everyone to participate.
The two-hour program will be broadcast on Saturday at 9 a.m. Central time and again on Sunday, June 21st at 5 p.m. Central time. Go to June2020.org to tune in.
Led by Rev. Dr. William Barber II, the Campaign is building a broad and deep national moral fusion movement—rooted in the leadership of poor people—to unite our country from the bottom up and challenge the evils of systemic racism, poverty, the war economy and militarism, ecological devastation and the nation’s distorted morality.
I strongly encourage everyone in Evanston to sign up and get involved. Again: Go to June2020.org.
Your participation in the Poor People's Campaign event will NOT interfere with your participation in Evanston's first Juneteenth parade (now also going virtual). Sign up here.
This commemoration is the oldest nationally celebrated commemoration of the ending of slavery in the United States and dates back to 1865, when, on June 19--two years AFTER the war had ended--Union soldiers landed at Galveston, Texas with news that enslaved people were now free.
While the event will recognize the end of slavery--it will also address modern and current issues that clearly show that Black Americans are not truly free.
The event, produced by Evanston Present and Future will be live-streamed on Facebook and YouTube on Friday, June 19 at 6 p.m. and a virtual play-reading of "Day of Absence," produced by Tim Rhoze of Fleetwood-Jourdain Theatre, will take place on Saturday, June 20 at 6 p.m.
The event will also honor the memory of Hecky Powell who for many, many years was a champion of Juneteenth and was well-known for his Juneteenth soda, which he sold at Hecky's Barbecue to raise funds for his Forrest E. Powell Foundation. Hecky's absence from this event will be deeply felt.
For more information about the Juneteenth event, click here.
You can purchase Juneteenth merch (earrings, necklaces, t-shirts, hoodies, and more, here.)
More details about the virtual event coming soon. Dear Evanston is proud to be a sponsor of the event. Again, sign up here.