Building an Inclusive Future: Celebrating Juneteenth and Pride in Alaska

Hey Friends!

June marks two monumental movements of liberation: Juneteenth and LGBTQ+ Pride Month. Without Black and queer voices represented in our movement, there will be no true equity and justice.

We recognize that achieving thriving communities and a robust democracy requires acknowledging our shared histories and the injustices faced by marginalized communities. Progress towards equity and justice necessitates prioritizing these communities in our conversations and efforts towards equity, while also celebrating their invaluable contributions to our society. This is why celebrations such as Juneteenth and Pride Month are so important.

This year, the Alaska Legislature passed Senate Bill 22, establishing Juneteenth as a state holiday, pending the governor’s signature to become official. This legislative progress demonstrates our state’s recognition of the history and significant contributions of Black Alaskans. On Juneteenth, Alaskans and others across our country will commemorate and celebrate the historic day in 1865 when enslaved people in Texas finally learned they were free, two years after the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation.

In Alaska, many Black leaders played important roles in building both the physical and political infrastructure of our state. Their contributions were monumental in moving Alaska toward statehood and in shaping the community we know today. Black Alaskans have been influential in various sectors, including education, politics, and the arts. Their achievements enrich our communities and strengthen our collective identity. This Juneteenth, we honor the incredible work and leadership of Black Alaskans. This is a time for allies to listen and learn from those on the frontlines of oppression, gaining insights into the intersections of race, democracy, accessibility, and climate justice.

The celebration of Pride Month is also important as it honors the struggle and contributions of LGBTQ+ individuals who have fought and continue to fight for equity and justice. Just as Juneteenth represents the struggle and triumph over oppression for Black Americans, Pride Month celebrates the achievements and ongoing battles faced by the LGBTQ+ community. Both movements highlight the necessity of acknowledging and uplifting marginalized voices to create a truly equitable society. Our work at The Alaska Center is deeply intertwined with these values, advocating for environmental justice that includes and respects all.

As a part of our celebration of Juneteenth, we will be tabling at the Juneteenth celebration this weekend in Anchorage. This month, we also celebrate LGBTQ+ Pride, recognizing the intersectionality of our environmental advocacy. A just transition requires the inclusion of all communities, especially those historically marginalized. At The Alaska Center, we believe our work must be intersectional, ensuring that our advocacy is equitable and inclusive of all.

Join us this weekend to celebrate Juneteenth and later this month to honor LGBTQ+ Pride! Together, we can continue to build a more inclusive, equitable, and sustainable future for all Alaskans.

Please come say hello at these important community events. We look forward to seeing you!

Happy celebrating,
The Alaska Center

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