Pa. awards grants for a number of Juneteenth celebrations

HARRISBURG, Pa. — Forward of Juneteenth, seven organizations and locations in Pennsylvania are set to obtain a complete of $89,000 mixed in grant cash to assist celebrations. This marks the primary yr of the Journey Towards Freedom Grant Program.

The grant announcement got here from the Pennsylvania Tourism Workplace and its associate, Chester County-based Voices Underground.

“A lot of different individuals do not find out about Juneteenth and haven’t celebrated it, however we must always have a good time it as a result of it’s the expression of all the pieces America aspires to be and says that it’s,” stated Greg Thompson, govt director, Voices Underground.

Gov. Tom Wolf signed laws in 2019 recognizing the vacation, which celebrates the tip of slavery in the USA. The vacation has been acknowledged on the federal stage as nicely.

It’s a day LaDeshia Maxwell, the chief director of the Governor’s Fee on African American Affairs, stated ought to be acknowledged by all.

“Juneteenth is a particular vacation,” she stated. “That is when our nation determined to essentially and really acknowledge that each one women and men ought to be free.”

Among the many grant recipients is “Juneteenth Lehigh Valley.” The Pennsylvania Tourism Workplace set a aim earlier this yr to make Pennsylvania the nation’s chief in African American Cultural Heritage Tourism.

The group stated it needs to be the state that finest depicts the Black tradition and historical past inside its borders.

“And we need to be the state that’s the most welcoming to guests of all backgrounds,” stated Carrie Fischer Lepore, deputy secretary, Workplace of Advertising and marketing, Tourism, and Movie.

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Officers stated the grants are a step towards that aim.