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June 20th declared Juneteenth National Freedom Day in Cedar Rapids, week-long virtual celebration planned

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AAMI

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KWWL) -- June 19th is officially Juneteenth National Freedom Day in Cedar Rapids after an official proclamation from the Mayor.

The proclamation was shared on the African American Museum of Iowa's (AAMI) Facebook page.

The Museum also announced a full week of virtual Juneteenth celebrations which started on Monday, June 15th.

The week long celebration is the AAMI's largest free event, the annual program promotes black achievements, with a platform for learning more about black history.

"Juneteenth is an annual, nationwide celebration of the freeing of enslaved African Americans in the U.S. on June 19, 1865, when news of the Emancipation Proclamation, at last, reached Confederate Galveston, Texas, two years after the 1863 issuance," according to AAMI.

In addition to sponsor and partner video remarks, the week will be filled with a lineup featuring dance, spoken word, rap, step, and singing performances. There will be an art demonstration, “how to” videos, a conversation on health, an art exhibit with Artisan Sanctuary and so much more.

A special highlight will be a recitation by world-renowned opera singer and Iowa native, Dr. Simon Estes. He will recite a portion of “The Other America,” a well cited speech delivered by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in 1968.

There will also be a featured racial reconciliation prayer from Cedar Rapids’ new Wellington Heights Community Church.

If you are seeking opportunities to support the Museum through some new and community-based initiatives, check out The Black Pin Project, and the 100% Over Racism effort. Contributions can also be made directly at the museum's website.