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Answering the Call

Blog Author: Natasha Stewart




The official flag of Juneteenth

Across our country June 19th is being recognized as the historically celebrated holiday Juneteenth.  This day holds significant historical importance as it is recognized that on or around June 19, 1865, the union soldiers in Texas were notified of the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation and the end of slavery. News about the signing and the end of slavery had traveled slowly, leaving those still enslaved in Texas being some of the last freed slaves in our country.  

While we celebrate this historical day in which impactful information was shared, let us recognize that our work of sharing information can play a vital role in supporting systemic change in our country, with a direct effect on the Black community and other people of color.  As the nation’s largest network of information, resource, and referral services, 211 continues to disseminate information that impacts everyone in our community from the national level down to the local level. Navigating resources and information for those who need it most, 211s are doing the necessary and needed work.  We collect data to identify disparities in our systems, the impacts of social determinants of health, and to advocate for systemic change in our country.

In the poem “We Rose” by Kristina Kay, recognized as one of two official Juneteenth Poems, she ends by saying “act we must”, a call to action to make change in our nation and our communities. As we continue our work as 211s across the country, we are acting, we are working, and we are answering the call.

We Rose

From Africa’s heart, we rose

Already a people, our faces ebon, our bodies lean,

We rose

Skills of art, life, beauty and family

Crushed by forces we knew nothing of, we rose

Survive we must, we did,

We rose

We rose to be you, we rose to be me,

Above everything expected, we rose

To become the knowledge we never knew,

We rose

Dream, we did

Act we must

-By Kristina Kay

To learn about the official flag of Juneteenth please click HERE.   

To learn more about the history of Juneteenth and ways to celebrate, please click HERE.