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Madison's Juneteenth celebration deserves permanence

Published On: Apr 14 2014 10:30:31 AM CDT   Updated On: Apr 15 2014 08:10:37 AM CDT
Neil Heinen photo

Juneteenth, our annual celebration of the day when the last of the slaves in this country were notified of the Emancipation Proclamation, and their freedom, is still two months away. But we’d like to think that this year, given a heightened awareness of how far we still need to go toward true racial equality in this city and this county, and the fact that this is the 25th Annual Juneteenth Day Celebration may give the day’s events a little heightened importance.

Here are the facts – Juneteenth organizers are right now soliciting performers, vendors and volunteers. But more important they are asking for donations to cover the costs of the Celebration…just as they have every single year. And that’s a problem.

That Madison’s Juneteenth celebration does not have a financial base, a budget, a foundation, and that it must start over every year asking for money is just wrong. This is a community celebration. In fact this year’s theme is Harambee…pulling together.

It’s long past time we create an endowment to ensure the annual success of one of the oldest and most highly regarded Juneteenth celebrations in the nation.

Let’s make this the year we get this done. If you want to help let us know and we’ll put you in touch with the right folks.

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