The San Bernardino Juneteenth Committee hosted its second annual Juneteenth Celebration of Freedom: Stomp the Yard Edition, drawing approximately 1,000 attendees at the San Bernardino Valley College on Saturday, June 17, 2023.
The event filled four parking lots with vehicles and saw a bustling outdoor event space featuring live performances, artisan and food vendors, and free clothing distribution for those in need. The vibrant atmosphere was filled with high spirits and hope for the future.
“It’s our Second Annual Juneteenth Celebration of Freedom and our Stomp The Yard Edition. There are many vendors, tons of people, and lots of food, and we’re out here recognizing and celebrating Juneteenth,” said Sista’s Making a Difference CEO and Founder Ronnie Miller.
Juneteenth, celebrated nationwide every year on June 19, acknowledges the emancipation of African Americans. The holiday provides an understanding of the Black community’s past struggles and triumphs that continue to bring hope today.
The Celebration of Freedom Committee, founded by Edwin Johnson, the Committee President, and co-founded by Lue Dowdy, Operations Director, aims to raise awareness about the Juneteenth holiday. The event began with a libation ceremony led by Reverend Bronica Martindale and a song selection by Marla Matime. Performers included Yaddida Page, Amore the Songstress, The Bromatics, D.D.C., and more.
The celebration also recognized fathers within the community who have demonstrated excellence, leadership, and integrity in an awards ceremony. Natasha McPherson, UCR History Professor, facilitated an educational seminar, with Ms. Tanya Humphrey, Chair of the Black Women’s Leadership Forum, and keynote speaker Dina Walker, founder of BLU Educational Foundation. DJ Muda hosted the event with co-host Jae Chanel.
The event was sponsored by a wide range of organizations, including Health Net, Inland Congregations United for Change (ICUC), First 5 San Bernardino, Inland Empire Health Plan (IEHP), San Bernardino Valley College, Chase Bank, The City of San Bernardino, Empire Talks Back, The Competitive Edge, YouthBuild Inland Empire, Westside Story Newspaper, and Lue Productions Community Umbrella Services.
The San Bernardino Juneteenth Committee is a community effort consisting of organizations like CHORDS, Sista’s Making a Difference, Young Visionaries, Lue Productions, San Bernardino Valley College, Inland Congregations United for Change, Southern California Black Chamber of Commerce -Inland Cities East Chapter, First 5 San Bernardino, Off The Chain Alliance, San Bernardino Pacesetters, 123 Mobile Training, San Bernardino (CA) Alumni Chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Incorporated, The Conquerors Insurance Advocates for Families, SoCal Trash Army, Bryce Hudson, The MAR.M Agency, DGK, Empowering Girls Network, Dream Nycce, and Jae Chanel Productions.
The Celebration of Freedom offered an educational experience for all attendees, regardless of race, age, and ethnic and cultural differences, reinforcing the spirit of unity and understanding inherent in the Juneteenth celebration.