House Speaker to Host Juneteenth Celebration

House Speaker “Emanuel” Chris Welch plans to bring the community together with the first annual Juneteenth and Father’s Day Celebration. The Speaker is inviting local families and people from all across Illinois to come together in unity in order to celebrate and honor African-Americans’ journey to freedom in America. Governor JB Pritzker and Secretary of State Jesse White will also join the celebration as special guests.

“The observance of Juneteenth is about the journey to freedom and achievement for African-Americans,” said Welch, who serves as the first African-American Speaker of the Illinois House of Representatives. “It is as important to the shaping of America as the 4th of July. It represents the day that the American dream of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness became more attainable for people of color. We are our ancestors’ wildest dreams. We will honor Juneteenth with a celebration of unity, respect, and community. We are inviting the entire 7th District, community groups, families, and of course our youth to join us in what we hope will be an incredible and fun-filled day.”

June 19, 1865, was the day word reached the enslaved in Galveston, Texas that their emancipation had been made formal, though it had been so since January 1, 1863. That news changed the world for the better.

The Speaker’s free Father’s Day and Juneteenth Celebration will take place Sunday, June 19th from 1pm-4pm at Memorial Park District [639 N. Wolf Road in Hillside] behind Adventure Bay Pool. There will be a barbecue, games, and family activities. For questions or to find ways to support and join the celebration, email HDems@HDemsIL.com or call 708.938.5787.

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