SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – The Brethren Community Foundation will be hosting its annual Juneteenth Celebration on Saturday.

According to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, the Brethren Community Foundation is a non-profit organization that works to improve the quality of life for individuals in Greater Springfield, along with Representative Bud L. Williams of the 11th Hampden District, House Chair of the Joint Committee on Racial Equity, Civil Rights, and Inclusion are the hosts of this community event.

The celebration has been made possible in collaboration with Baystate Health, the Urban League of Springfield, Inc., the Black Springfield Coalition, Springfield Pharmacy, Dorothy & Leroy’s, and the Springfield Cultural Center. This is a family-friendly event where attendees can enjoy free food provided by Dorothy & Leroy and performances by Malado Music and “The Starlets.” Free vaccines will also be offered, courtesy of the Springfield Pharmacy.

Representative Bud Wiliams, Dr. Shirley Whitaker, Vanessa Ford, Elder TJ Haynes/Voice of Praise, Teka Jones, Preacher Man and Singing Saints, and Michelle Brooks-Thompson will be highlighted at the event and the recipients of the Community Service Awards will be announced.

The Juneteenth Celebration will be held on Saturday at the Raymond A Jordan Senior Center from noon until 3:00 p.m.

“Juneteenth is a celebration I have been participating in for 30 years. However, we must remember that the work for justice and equality is not finished, and we have not received the promised reparations,” states Williams. “As we celebrate the freedom our ancestors earned in 1865, we must keep in mind those who endured the brutal institution of slavery and the reparations we deserve so that we can keep moving forward,” states Williams. 

“The history of Juneteenth is rooted in Black people being left in the dark about their freedom for more than two years because they lacked education and awareness. I commend the Brethren Foundation’s mission and commitment to providing educational and socialization opportunities to youth and senior citizens of Greater Springfield,” states Williams. “Access to high-quality education and supportive community is foundational to break cycles of poverty, reduce systemic Inequities, and to ensure that every person has the opportunity to live a fulfilling life and contribute to their community meaningfully.”  

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