Weekend of Juneteenth celebrations ahead

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    Photo Courtesy of Juneteenth Jam.

    Justice 4 All Juneteenth Jam
    The third edition of the Justice 4 All Juneteenth Jam may be happening the same day as the Grand Rapids Pride Festival, but there’s no reason you can’t enjoy both events. The Juneteenth celebration will be held in Rosa Parks Circle from 1-5pm. Julius Rogers, the founder of Justice 4 All gives guests a taste of what they can expect on June 17th.

    “The event this year is going to incorporate several different things that are cool. Along with having Black-owned vendors displaying their products and services throughout the event, we will have performances by Over the Top Academy of Dance and a breakdance battle in commemoration of the fiftieth anniversary of hip-hop. Dancers will be able to register and compete for a $500 prize and entry into the Midwest Breakin’ Battle at the One Peace hip-hop festival on August 13.

    “I am really excited to have all the guests come back and continue to experience everything that our amazing Black culture has to offer. The vibes and energy last year were perfect and created an extremely welcoming environment for everyone to take advantage of while at the event. I am excited to see what the vendors have in store for this year as well. I know a lot of them sold out of their products, so I’m looking forward to seeing them shine again this year.

    “The federal holiday recognition is a big step in the right direction, however, the impact of the significance of this holiday will not fully be felt until it is more widely recognized. It must be understood that although these federal holiday designations and city proclamations are very much appreciated and needed, they are merely starting points on the necessary journey to true equity for Black Americans. Emancipation for Black citizens in the United States of America was not willingly given, it was fought for and won. So, I believe it is our duty to celebrate Juneteenth as a true day of freedom for all.”

    Juneteenth in Muskegon
    As part of the City of Muskegon Heights’ celebration of the national Juneteenth Holiday, Muskegon Rotary will hold its annual Community Mixer on Friday, June 16, 5 – 9 p.m. at Mona Lake Park in the City of Muskegon Heights. Sponsored by Consumers Energy, this family-friendly event will include bounce houses and other activities for children and food offered to participants at no charge.

    The event is a joint project of Rotary’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee and the Muskegon Heights Juneteenth Committee. The Mixer will be held outdoors at Mona Lake Park. Live music will feature “electrifying blues artist” Big Daddy Fox, a fun-loving entertainer performing blues, soul, rock and R & B. The Community Mixer kicks off the weekend’s West Michigan Juneteenth Celebration, held June 16-18 at Mona Lake Park.

    Muskegon Rotary is a thriving and engaged service organization that cultivates relationships among members of all ages, harnessing their passion and talents to promote peace, affect significant positive change, and build a sense of place in our community and the world. Muskegon Rotary engages and empowers principled, enthusiastic and diverse community members who believe that together we can change our community and our world. Muskegon Rotary’s Committee for Diversity, Equity & Inclusion was established in 2015.

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    Ever since Pasha Shipp could talk, she's been dreaming up colorful stories. Fantasy creatures, mysterious kingdoms, enchanted forests, you name it. As she reached adulthood, she decided to take the magic out of her head and put it down on paper. Pasha has been writing for Grand Rapids Magazine since November 2015, and has loved every minute of it. She has a master's degree in Communication and a bachelor's degree in Film Studies from Grand Valley State University and Western Michigan University respectively. When she isn't daydreaming and writing stories for the magazine, she's exploring the many hidden treasures of Grand Rapids with her fiancé.