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Juneteenth Celebration makes way for conversation about ongoing initiatives

Updated: Jun. 20, 2021 at 10:40 PM CDT
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - The Birmingham Civil Rights institute held their Juneteenth Celebration with a day full events.

From live performances, food, health forums and a sidewalk film. Attendees said that while they plan to celebrate, there’s a lot more work to do.

Mayor Randall Woodfin shares that Juneteenth is more than just another holiday. It represents how far we’ve come, but how much more we still have to accomplish.

“I think it’s important for the remaining 364 days to fight for civil rights,” says Woodfin. “To fight around social justice. Around voting rights. We have to continue that fight. We need people in the trenches. They’re legislators right now that are making laws, that infringe upon voting.”

Laws President Arnee Odoms with the Alabama chapter of Black Voters Matter says they’re working with other states like Georgia, using a corporate pressure campaign for organizations headquartered in the state.

“In Georgia about the voter suppression bills. But the people they funded who supported the voter suppression bills,” says Odom. “So we think that it’s important for us to raise awareness for the dark money in politics and cause awareness for that because that’s the only way to change the process of politics in the country.”

Birmingham Civil Rights Institute Interim President DeJuana Thompson says they have more planned to continue the fight for equality. But she wants people to really take time to celebrate today.

“We want to take Juneteenth as a reckoning to say listen, we’re not going back we’re going forward,” says Thompson. “So the fact that it became a national holiday two days ago. It really just cements what we were planning to do.”

Black Voters Matter has several local volunteer opportunities coming. To find out more, visit https://blackvotersmatterfund.org/alabama/

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