Partners Celebrates Freedom Day

Juneteenth represents freedom. It marks the day my ancestors discovered they were free to live their lives as they wished. It signifies that freedom is a fundamental right for every human being, deserving of celebration." — Opal Lee

Opal Lee, often called the "Grandmother of Juneteenth," is a prominent activist and educator who was instrumental in securing Juneteenth's recognition as a federal holiday in the United States. Born on October 7, 1926, in Marshall, Texas, Lee has dedicated her life to advocating for civil rights and the acknowledgment of African American history and culture.

Below are ways to reflect and celebrate:


The Orange County (Fla.) Library System and the Orange County (Calif.) Public Libraries offer a selection of books for Juneteenth reading, including topics like religion, graphic novels, biographies and autobiographies, fiction, essays, self-help, and histories including The 1619 Project.

Art & Culture

The National Museum of African American History & Culture (NMAAHC) offers an online Juneteenth experience. Explore their reading list, curated discography, and learn more about why red food and drink are special to Juneteenth in the Tastes of Experience section. They have children and youth resources, and church fan designs to create your own!


A great cookbook for Juneteenth is Watermelon & Red Birds by Nicole A. Taylor. In 1866, the Black community of Galveston came together for BBQs, and Nicole provides recipes for similar dishes including Beef Ribs with Fermented Harissa Sauce, Peach Jam and Molasses Glazed Chicken Thighs, Southern-ish Potato Salad, Cantaloupe and Feta Salad, and desserts like Roasted Nectarine Sundae and Radish and Ginger Pound Cake.

Meals, Music, and Muses: Recipes From My African American Kitchen by Alexander Smalls, takes you on a culinary journey through the American South with Hoppin' John Cakes with Sweet Pepper Remoulade and Carolina Bourbon Barbecue Shrimp and Okra Skewers, and main dishes like Roast Quail in Bourbon Cream Sauce and Prime Rib Roast with Crawfish Onion Gravy.

You can visit NMAAHC’s Tastes of Resilience page to “Explore the symbolism of red foods as a sign of resilience and joy. The color red is highly associated with the cultures that would've come through the later years of the TransAtlantic slave trade, which would have been Yoruba and Kongo. People from the Yoruba of Nigeria, Benin, and Togo; and the Kongo of Angola, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the Republic of Congo and Gabon—placed great philosophical and spiritual value in the color red as it symbolizes sacrifice, transition and power.” 

NMAAHC’s Sweet Home Café has a cookbook available! You can purchase it here. You can also visit the café’s page to see what they are making for this Juneteenth.


The Walt Disney Company champions storytelling that reflects the world around us and helps us develop meaningful relationships with genuine, authentic, and respectful stories that embrace different perspectives.

On Disney+, National Geographic offers Black Travel Across America. “Travel Consultant, Martinique Lewis, embarks on a journey to visit historically listed Green Book locations and modern black travel destinations.” The Negro Motorist Green Book was an annual guidebook for African American travelers, published from 1936-1966. During the era of Jim Crow laws, Black travelers could legally be refused service at food service, lodging, and gas and automotive services not to mention arbitrary arrest and physical endangerment. The Green Book was a guide to finding Black-friendly establishments when traveling by automobile.


June is also Black Music Month! The Presidential Proclamation establishing it reads, in part, “This month, we celebrate the songs and artists that challenge us to think critically, stand up to injustice, and believe in ourselves. We recommit to expanding the promise of dignity and opportunity for all Americans. And we revel in the sounds, spirit, and soul of some of the very best music ever created.”  Use your favorite search engine to learn and listen more.

You can access stories, podcasts, and more related to Juneteenth as well as hundreds of other topics at Storycorp. According to their website, “StoryCorps believes that everyone has an important story to tell and that everyone’s story matters. Our mission is to preserve and share humanity’s stories in order to build connections between people and create a more just and compassionate world. Since our founding in 2003, we’ve helped more than 630,000 people across the country have meaningful conversations about their lives. These recordings are collected in the U.S. Library of Congress and in our online archive which is now the largest single collection of human voices ever gathered.” Just use the search function and enter “Juneteenth.”


One way to lift up diverse communities is to “support with your wallet.” The NMAAHC has an online shop with a Juneteenth Commemorative Collection. “This limited-edition collection foregrounds Black-led designs as part of the Museum's larger Juneteenth celebration of resilience, including a curated summer reading list and virtual programming. Help represent this holiday with products that honor Juneteenth as celebrated.” According to the website. Sales from Smithsonian gift shops go to support the Smithsonian Institution’s museums.

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Partners Celebrates AAPI

This month, we celebrate the history, contributions, and accomplishments of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in America, whose achievements are instrumental to our future success. 

Partners Celebrates JAHM

This month, we celebrate the heritage of Jewish Americans in the United States. Let's honor the values, contributions and culture of Jewish Americans whose impacts carry us forward every day.

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Partners Celebrates Black History Month

We're excited in celebrating Black History Month! We’re committed to understanding history and life experiences to better appreciate the impact of current events on our daily lives. Here are some ways you can learn and celebrate in your community.