Grand Junction celebrates its first Annual Juneteenth event

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KJCT) June 19th 1865. A day in American history now widely famous as the end of slavery. Today, it’s known as Juneteenth. Cities all over the country including Grand Junction celebrated.

"It's always good when we have celebrations of Juneteenth because Juneteenth is all about celebrating African American culture, celebrating family, celebrating African American freedom especially in today's climate, in today's events," says Marquita Bernard.

On Friday, there was music and food but the focus was education. There were displays, speeches and people telling stories educating children and adults.

"Education is really important. So people understand racism versus white privilege. Really the systemic racism that is still happening in the world today,” says Missy Combs.

Some say the narrative gets lost in communication sometimes. And holding events like this can give people the right story

"When you come out here, you meet people face to face. You get the story face to face with no filter. You get the experiences, the culture. It’s not just a black and white thing," says Jesse Bradford.

On June 3rd, City Council heard from residents about racism in Grand Junction.

Already as a result of protests and marches, change has begun.
Most recently, CMU deciding to remove Walter Walker’s name from their field. And a coalition on race formed after CMU's first ever black head football coach met with Grand Junction Police Chief, Doug Shoemaker. All strides, people I talked to say, make the world a more accepting place.

“Whether it’s Hispanic, Polynesian, Italian, whatever race you are, if you don’t know about another race, just ask,” says Bradford.

The Grand Junction City Council has made it official with a proclamation to annually recognize the importance of all beliefs and races and to value the importance of diversity.

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