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Beloit ‘celebrates progress’ on Juneteenth weekend

Community members who gathered for Beloit’s Juneteenth festivities say their fellowship is not only fun but also meaningful.
Published: Jun. 18, 2022 at 9:14 PM CDT
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BELOIT, Wis. (WMTV) - Community members who gathered for Beloit’s Juneteenth festivities say their fellowship is not only fun but also meaningful.

“There is much work to be done, but we are going to pause today and celebrate progress,” Amiee Leavy, racial justice director of the YWCA Rock County, said.

The YWCA co-hosted the celebration Saturday afternoon at Telfer Park along with the group Elite Ladies of Beloit.

“Just coming from a people that have been stolen from your land and brought to the United States and other places around the world as enslaved people to where we are now,” Leavy said, “owning homes and running businesses and being educators and superintendents and business leaders and serving as racial justice directors.”

Juneteenth honors June 19, 1865, when the last enslaved African Americans got the news of emancipation.

“Juneteenth should be celebrated because of what it means to people of African descent,” Normalee Gallimore, who helped cook for the event, said. “It is a day when we can say that, ‘Yes, we are recognized for who we are and our contribution to this country.’”

The local pastor, grilling her famous jerk chicken, said, “I’ve seen so many different ethnic groups here today, and everybody is celebrating this day with people who are of African descent. That is important.”

The YWCA, a not-for-profit agency serving women and children, plans to host the 8th Annual Racial Justice Conference virtually on November 10.

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