Setting the stage for Juneteenth in Joliet – Shaw Local

Visual prompts are powerful. A small canvas with the words “One day I will change the world” sits on my desk at the business incubator/coworking space at St. Francis University.

This feeling sets the tone for the day. It fills me with confidence to act on my mission from God. It gives me the courage to show myself in spaces where no one invited me or expected me to surface. More importantly, it challenges me to take radical responsibility to be the change I want to see in society.

Over the past year, this shift has involved coordinating a collaboration supported by a business owner and a downtown-based non-profit organization. One day, every year, we will join forces to create a series of “Destination Stations”. They will consist of a combination of indoor and outdoor spaces. We strive to create common ground, facilitating connection between people who might be as different as night is from day. In summary, our shared work uses empathy to break down barriers and then bridge the gaps with activities that bring understanding closer together.

This episode briefly highlights the local non-profit and commercial spaces where a range of Juneteenth in Joliet experiences will take place. The walkable location borders downtown and spans Chicago, Jefferson Cass, and Ottawa streets.

Each forms the backdrop for a cross-cultural connection. A mix of physical establishments will host a range of activities designed to engage, educate and entertain with art, food, music or storytelling. For example, humor will be in the spotlight at Juliette, which is normally closed on Sundays. The Joliet Historic Area Museum will be offering a “free day”. Joliet Kreamers, a niche athletic shoe store (owned and operated by two in their twenties) erects a sports desk, staffed by Evan, an 8-year-old phenom who contributes commentary at pro sports conclaves).

Altogether, the goal is to broaden the perspective on what it means to be black in America, both today and in the past. Specifically, it expands access to be present, to be curious, to be kind, and to be concerned with contributing whatever you can to make the spaces you occupy a little bit better. Essentially, each participant shows solidarity.

They come in one day a year to say, “We see you and recognize the struggle. This in no way diminishes the stories of the other races. It also does not attempt to address all of the race-related issues that exist. What Juneteenth does in Joliet is expand welcoming spaces that bring people from all walks of life together.

Owners of these spaces include AudioPhil (vinyl records) C&C Vision Gallery, Cheesecakes by James, Custom Community Creations (cartoon artists) Dragon’s Den (80s Vintage Toys) H Data (government software) ItisAmazing (clothing) Jitters (coffee, pastries and conversation ) Palmas Latin Food (freshly minted owners who are in space formerly occupied by Chevere) Sandee’s (bespoke clothing), Sue Regis Fine Art (glass/commemorative pieces) Solar Solutions (paint gallery) and The Strange & Unusual Gallery .

Juneteenth in Joliet opens a metaphorical avenue to pave the way for progress. Targeted grassroots action will take place this year on Sunday, June 19, from noon to 4 p.m. Put it on your calendar and attend with an open mind, a willingness to silence negative talk, suspend judgment, and open your heart to healing. .

Toni Greathouse is an entrepreneurial evangelist whose purpose is spelled out in the letters of her first name – serving as a reminder to Jake Onot NOTdistrict IInteraction & Jry OUtah NOTnovel Ideas.

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