After a successful inaugural event last year at Kennedy Park, The Doors of Hope Opportunity & Open Diversity Inc. (D’HOOD) is gearing up for another Juneteenth celebration that will unite the SouthCoast community during an all-day event at the park on June 18 from noon to 6 p.m.

D’HOOD is a nonprofit organization that is developing a multicultural arts-and-entertainment outreach program for children, based in Fall River.

History of Juneteenth

President Alicia Powell and Vice President Cydney Brown provided insight on the history of Juneteenth, sharing that it’s the oldest nationally celebrated commemoration of the ending of slavery.

“It wasn’t until June 19, 1865, that Union soldiers were finally able to reach Galveston, Texas, with the news that the war had ended and that the enslaved were now free ... two-and-a-half years after the Emancipation Proclamation,” they said.

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It was only last year that the state of Massachusetts declared Juneteenth a national holiday, proving that the importance of this day and its history need to spread out to the masses.

Juneteenth Celebration in Fall River

In 2021, D’HOOD took over Kennedy Park in honor of Juneteenth, attracting hundreds of people to celebrate African-American freedom and respect for all cultures.

“Our vision for this year is to double that attendance and collaborate even more with neighboring cities and towns as we celebrate freedom, unity and progression,” said Brown.

“The celebration of Juneteenth is important to everyone,” said D’HOOD. “It celebrates African-American freedom and achievement while encouraging continuous self-development and respect for all cultures.”

Brown and Powell both agree that getting involved and supporting Juneteenth celebrations creates new friendships and a better understanding of our neighbors while recognizing how far we’ve come and how much further there is still to go.

“We are all one spirit. ... We are one humanity,” they said.

What to Expect This Year

Chris Aguiar, the media manager for the event, gave insight on what Fall River can expect at this year’s celebration.

“Last year, it was spread throughout Kennedy Park. This year, we are trying to condense the area and fill it with vendor tents and a stage for entertainment,” he said.

Exciting entertainment acts are on the lineup, but Aguiar is keeping those a secret.

Aguiar shared that several motivational speakers, city councilors and public officials will speak during the event, as well food trucks and even free food provided by People Incorporated.

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LOOK: Milestones in women's history from the year you were born

Women have left marks on everything from entertainment and music to space exploration, athletics, and technology. Each passing year and new milestone makes it clear both how recent this history-making is in relation to the rest of the country, as well as how far we still need to go. The resulting timeline shows that women are constantly making history worthy of best-selling biographies and classroom textbooks; someone just needs to write about them.

Scroll through to find out when women in the U.S. and around the world won rights, the names of women who shattered the glass ceiling, and which country's women banded together to end a civil war.

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