June 15: Join POCUM’s Juneteenth march and wear your union colors
From the Minneapolis Labor Review, May 31, 2019
By Steve Share, Minneapolis Labor Review editor
MINNEAPOLIS — Saturday, June 15 is the date of this year’s “Juneteenth” celebration and the People of Color Union Members caucus of the Minneapolis Regional Labor Federation — POCUM — is inviting local unions and union members to march in a parade that will kick-off the day.
“We want the unions to come and wear their colors and bring their banners and be part of the parade,” urged KerryJo Felder, MRLF community organizer.
Union sponsors for the parade and the following Juneteenth celebration so far include Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1005,
AFSCME Local 34, Bakers Local 22, Gasworkers Local 340, IBEW Local 292, Laborers Local 563, Minneapolis Federation of Teachers Local 59, Minneapolis Regional Labor Federation, National Association of Letter Carriers Branch 9, SEIU Local 284, Teamsters Local 120, Teamsters Local 320, and UFCW Local 663.
The parade line-up will begin at 9:00 a.m. at the Minneapolis Public Schools administration building at 1250 W. Broadway. The parade will begin at 10:00 a.m. and proceed about one mile to Bethune Park, 1304 N. 10th Ave. in Minneapolis.
The Juneteenth celebration at Bethune Park will feature music and performances, historical re-enactments, local food vendors and more (see link).
Juneteenth celebrates the day in 1865 when news of the Emancipation Proclamation reached Galveston, Texas at the end of the U.S. Civil War and enslaved African-Americans there learned that they had been freed. Since then, Juneteenth has been celebrated as a day of freedom.
“It’s a really fun and important activity in the black community,” Felder said.
“Sharing with the community that special day is something that works both ways,” she said. “Getting the unions seen in the community is a positive thing.”
Felder added, “it’s a good way for unions to reach out to their own members.”
Local unions can sponsor the June 15 parade and Juneteenth celebration with a $100 donation. Contact KerryJo Felder at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.