Juneteenth - Metro East
Our Annual Juneteenth- East St Louis Event in the Metro East Since 2012 Just got BIGGER! Welcome to
JUNETEENTH METRO EAST - Our Commitment to Moving Ever Forward
JUNE 19th, 1865 - Adapted over the years to "June-Teenth"
National Juneteenth Day of Observance Petition
National Miss Juneteenth Scholarship Program
IL Miss Juneteenth Scholarship Program
Juneteenth 101 Curriculum
Annual Event, Education, and Advocacy Day for Metro East
Annual Flag Raising Ceremony
Juneteenth Metro East Planning Meetings
Learn More About This Year's Festivities...
JuneteenthME 2021 The Juneteenth Celebration for Metro East St. Louis and Southern IL
What in The World is “JUNETEENTH?”
Juneteenth is an adaptive way of saying “June 19th.” On this day, our country committed to change by emancipating the last of the slaves. President Lincoln made his fateful “proclamation.” Away went General Granger in Galveston, TX to deliver the General Order #3 setting free the last slaves. This momentous day in America, traditionally celebrated with barbeque, strawberries, and family since 1865 is an African American Independence holiday.
Tracy Johnson, “Ras Tra” came to CDSS 15 years ago wanting support to throw his birthday celebration. During his annual bday bash, they would uplift Juneteenth. In 2012, Mr. Johnson, became CDSS' Cultural Arts Director and CDSS' President thought we should take a more serious stance around the historical significance of Juneteenth and felt East St Louis and surrounding communities need to wake up. 2015, our third year hosting Juneteenth as a citywide event, The City of East St. Louis recognized our efforts proclaiming Juneteenth an Official East St. Louis Holiday! In 2017, Mr Johnson moved his project to St. Louis and left for Las Vegas soon after for a new job! East St Louis, Cahokia, Centreville, Washington Park, and St. Clair Co have declared Juneteenth a holiday. St Clair Co was the first County in IL to make Juneteenth a paid holiday! We invite all neighboring communities to East St. Louis to bring about peace, diversity, and understanding.
CDSS-ESL Raised Juneteenth Flag for the 1st time in IL June 2020
Mr. Johnson stated, “It is my dream to make Juneteenth big. We need to come together and celebrate our REAL African American Independence Day because June 19 is our holiday; not July 4.”
CDSS-ESL is happy to report, Juneteenth as a "paid holiday" across St Clair Co in 2020 - It "IS "our true American Independence Day in our region and soon across The State of Illinois!!!
Community Development Sustainable Solutions is a proactive innovative East St. Louis, IL based nonprofit agency.
As part of CDSS’ non-violence initiatives, the grassroots agency seeks to civically engage members of the community with positive fun and educational events such as “Put Down The Guns, Pick Up Your Sons, March to Fun”, (a collaboration with Studio 618 for the past 5 years)
and National Night Out, an annual event in August promoting positive police/community relations. Juneteenth-East St. Louis is no different as CDSS brings to life the historical significance of June 19, 1865, our Emancipation Day.
According to Mr. Terrance Taylor, CDSS Vice President, “Last year was BIG, but this year is EVEN BIGGER! We expect upwards of 1000 people at the boathouse in Jones Park so we are looking for more vendors and more entertainers to engage but you better do it fast because time and space is running out. You can call me at 618-514-3199 or Stephanie Taylor at 618-514-3199.”
Since that fateful day in June 1865, this holiday and its meaning seems to fade in and out just as our sense of direction as a community and a diverse country. Close your eyes and imagine what it must have been like to hear the words finally proclaimed aloud and with conviction, “YOU ARE FREE!” Stephanie Bush, President CDSS, said, “It is the year 2018 and this year’s theme is Unity and Wellness as we continue our Call to Change. We welcome everyone regardless of color or culture out to reflect upon this journey we embarked upon back when Lincoln was president.
Juneteenth-East St. Louis
Unity and Wellness
Sense of Pride
Rich Cultural Atmosphere
Come out and invite some friends from outside the community as well. Let them see how East St. Louis, IL (the only all-black city in the U.S.), celebrates and acknowledges our freedom and desire to move forward. Plenty of Barbeque, strawberries, vending, rides, and of course, lots of fun! The event kicks off with an 11am Parade from 89th and State Street traveling down state and turning at 25th street then proceeding all the way to Jones Park. Let’s get together and make some noise. It has been too long since we have seen any festivities run through our city streets. Mr. Taylor said, “Be on the lookout for our Juneteenth King and Queen this year as well as an end of the evening Sparkling Unity Circle!”