Welcome to the Annual Juneteenth Event - Celebrating Freedom and Unity! 

JUNE 19th, 1865 - 

Adapted over the years to  "June-Teenth"

Our Annual Juneteenth- East St Louis Event in the Metro East Since 2012  

Welcome to 

JUNETEENTH across the METRO EAST - Our Commitment to Moving Ever Forward

About CDSS-ESL and IL Juneteenth Committee: 

The Annual Juneteenth Event is a collaborative effort between Community Development Sustainable Solutions (CDSS-ESL) and the Illinois Juneteenth Committee. Together, we are committed to honoring the significance of Juneteenth and promoting unity, diversity, and cultural appreciation in our community. 

What is Juneteenth? 

Juneteenth, also known as Freedom Day or Emancipation Day, commemorates the emancipation of enslaved African Americans in the United States. On June 19, 1865, Union General Gordon Granger arrived in Galveston, Texas, and announced the end of slavery, more than two years after the Emancipation Proclamation. 

Our Mission:

Our mission is to educate, celebrate, and empower our community by hosting an inclusive and engaging Juneteenth event. We aim to foster understanding and appreciation of African-American history, culture, and contributions to American society.

Date and Location:

Stay tuned for updates on the date and location of this year's Annual Juneteenth Event. Follow our website and social media channels for the latest information.

Cultural Performances:

Experience captivating performances that showcase the richness of African-American arts, music, dance, and spoken word.

Educational Exhibits:

Engage with informative exhibits that highlight the historical significance of Juneteenth and its relevance in today's context.

Community Engagement: 

Connect with local organizations and community leaders who are making a positive impact in our community.

Youth Empowerment: 

Encouraging and empowering young minds through interactive activities, workshops, and mentorship opportunities.

Food and Vendors:

Savor the flavors of African-American cuisine and explore a diverse selection of vendors offering unique products and services.

Join Us in Celebration:

The Annual Juneteenth Event is open to all members of the community. We invite you to come together as one, celebrating freedom, diversity, and unity. It is a time to reflect on our past, embrace the present, and envision a more inclusive and equitable future.

Together, Let's Celebrate Freedom, Unity, and Progress at the Annual Juneteenth Event!

We are excited to welcome you to this enriching celebration of culture, history, and community. Join us as we commemorate Juneteenth and renew our commitment to promoting social justice, equality, and understanding in our society. Together, we can make a difference!

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 618-515-0611 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 Taylor, 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. 


Specifically, WE,  Juneteenth-Metro East, focus on the words of our 16th President Abraham Lincoln, “It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us—that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they here gave the last full measure of devotion—that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain—that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom, and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth."

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 Motorcade

Annual Flag Raising Ceremony

Juneteenth Metro East Planning Meetings

#JuneteenthME Sponsorship Click Here    Sponsorship/Marketing

Learn More About This Year's Festivities...

Check out Juneteenth Features and Performers Here

JuneteenthME 2021 The Juneteenth Celebration for Metro East St. Louis and Southern IL 

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!!! 

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