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Virtual Juneteenth Celebration 2021

We have pulled the Virtual Juneteenth content from our Virtual Event Page so it can be celebrated year-round! See below for wonderful videos, links, and information.

Lizzie Cocoa Duckworth Carter sings “Lift Every Voice and Sing”

A Message from Abraham Lincoln

Champaign-Urbana Special Recreation Adult & Events Coordinator, Nikiaya Brandon, took some time to read All Because You Matter written by Tami Charles and Illustrated by Caldecott Honor Winner Bryan Collier.

The amazing Brandon T. Washington recorded a couple songs for us to celebrate Juneteenth! Watch him perform I Would Die 4 U by Prince and Higher Ground by Stevie Wonder.

Dance in honor of the Igbo Africans:
“As the enslaved Igbo Africans arrived in their new land… they saw that the land was not their own… They sky was not their own…and they desired to return home. Story says they jumped into the ocean and drowned… Legend says they swam home. This is the legend of the enslaved Igbo Africans.”
Choreographer & Videographer : Faith Brown
Dancer : Avery Mcghee
Song: Circlesong 2 by Bobby McFerrin
WATCH: https://www.facebook.com/ChampaignParkDist/videos/265587481682192/ 

Information & Links:
In honor of Juneteenth, we’d like to talk about Frederick Douglass – the inspiring namesake of Douglass Park, Douglass Community Center, Douglass Annex, Douglass Branch Library, and a public art piece in Douglass Park. Visit our website to learn more about our ties to the Civil Rights Activist: https://bit.ly/3efZAR4

Military History
The 99th Pursuit Squadron was the first black flying squadron, and the first to deploy overseas. This squadron is more commonly associated with the Tuskegee Army Air Fields but did you know they got their start in Rantoul, Illinois? Mark Hanson took the time to chat with us about this monumental squadron’s start at Chanute Field! Visit our YouTube channel for the full interview: https://youtu.be/gXRkZwV6ayY

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Netflix has done a great job at increasing representation in TV series and movies. Their animated series are the best to come out of their Representation Matters Collection! Shows like Kipo and the age of Wonderbeasts, She-Ra and the Princesses of Power, Voltron: Legendary Defender, The Dragon Prince, and Cannon Busters include diversity and great characters of color. Learn more about these amazing shows on our website: https://bit.ly/30RZETj

Take a swing at some Juneteenth Trivia! Maybe you’ll learn a thing or two about this important holiday: https://bit.ly/35pJm4T

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For Juneteenth, there are many ways to show your support and solidarity!
1. Check your voter registration status and help others to register to vote. (Scan the QR code to register or update your voter registration. You need an IL State ID or an IL driver’s license to complete the process.)
2. Read about bills that support our voting rights
3. Take action by calling your senators or join a phone bank by Indivisible Illinois https://fb.me/e/1IMDqvRdb
4. Support Black-Owned Businesses! Check out Buy Black Chambana

We want to recognize the amazing work black women have contributed to science over the years. Here are 7 black women who changed the world:
1. Alice Ball | Chemist

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*First African-American and first woman to graduate from the University of Hawaii
*Invented the Ball Method
*Helped to cure Leprosy with her chemical treatment.

2. Annie Easley | Computer Programmer, Mathematician, & Rocket Scientist

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*Helped to create software for the Centaur Rocket.
*Co-Wrote many papers about nuclear rocket engines and power plants.
*Was an equal opportunity counselor and taught about workplace discrimination.

3. Jane Cooke Wright | Oncologist

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*Co-Founded the American Society of Clinical Oncology
*Developed new ways to test chemo drugs and to treat Hard-To-Reach tumors.
*Developed better programs to study stroke, heart disease, and cancer.

4. Katherin Johnson | Physicist and Mathematician

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*Won the NASA Lunar Orbiter Award & the NASA Special Achievement Award.
*In 2015, she won the Presidential Medal of Freedom at age 92.
*Calculated the flight path for the first manned mission to the moon.
5. Mae Jemison | Astronaut, Educator, & Doctor

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*First African-American woman in space.
*Founder of Jemison Group Inc and Biosentient Corporation.
*Founded “The Earth We Share” Science Camp for kids.

6. Mamie Phipp Clark | Psychologist & Civil Rights Activist

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*Her work won the supreme court case Brown v. Board of Education.
*Co-Founded the Northside Center for Child Development in Harlem, New York City.
*Her doll test and coloring test proved that segregation hurts children.

7. Patricia Bath | Ophthalmologist & Inventor

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*Inventor of the Laserphaco Probe used to treat cataracts.
*Co-Founder of the American Institute for the Prevention of Blindness.
*Pioneered volunteer-based outreach to bring eyecare to impoverished people.
We learned these in the book, Women In Science: 50 Fearless Pioneers Who Changed The World (Written & Illustrated by Rachel Ignotofsky). Make sure to check out this book for more about these amazing women in science: https://rachelignotofskydesign.com/women-in-science

A Message from Champaign Park District:
As we ease into a new year, we have been reflecting on the last. We want to make it clear that our goals apply to ALL members of our community. We have created a simple phrase that will not only keep our mission in mind for staff but for all residents and visitors as well!

We want Champaign Park District to be your place to Recreate together, Embrace our similarities, and Celebrate our differences!

You will find this statement will represent all that we do as we prioritize R.E.C. for all. And once again, that’s R.E.C.-Recreate, Embrace, & Celebrate! R.E.C. will guide our programming and offerings as we continue to grow in inclusivity and accessibility. It will help us reflect on our diverse community, assess its needs, and create opportunities for all. Overall, R.E.C. will drive our mission to create positive experiences for everyone and we look forward to recreating with you!

Thank you for celebrating #Juneteenth with us today! We’re closing out our virtual program with a message of love for our friends: You are important. You are valued. You are beautiful. You are welcomed. You are enough. You are heard. You are family. You are friends. You are Champaign and you are home!
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