Karen Morrison created an extraordinary day on June 17 at Esther Short Park for a wonderful launch to our first national Juneteenth weekend. As executive director of Odyssey World International Educational Services (https://www.odysseyworld.org/) she, along with city of Vancouver personnel, rolled out a fabulous event.
Juneteenth, the newest federal holiday, marks the day, June 19, 1865, when enslaved people in Galveston, Texas, learned of their freedom, more than two years after the Emancipation Proclamation. It is sad when we understand that enslaved people were denied a truth vital to their lives for 2½ years. But it is valuable to recognize and celebrate the freedoms we do have, to realize they need strengthening, and supporting each other in doing so.
Exhibits on Friday included delicious food, jewelers, potters, financial and health info, educational institutions, community and faith organizations, face painting, games, and marvelous live musicians. There were nearly 100 booths. Lovita Morrison, daughter and vice president of OWIES, planned, coordinated, trained a strong team of volunteers, and mapped the event. Thanks to all the exhibitors and attendees. The live music was a big hit and, by late in the day, people were literally dancing in the rain. In all, a great event with much to celebrate, think about, and do — with excellent orchestration.