GREEN BAY, Wis. (WFRV) — Saturday morning, a crowd gathered in a downtown Green Bay parking lot to mark Juneteenth.
“Like people celebrate the 4th of July, this is our freedom as black people,” Sharon Harper, Executive Director of Resources at Divine Temple Church of God & Christ said.
Brown County Executive Troy Streckenbach and Green Bay Mayor Eric Genrich joined in the festivities, and read proclamations officially recognizing Juneteenth in the city and county.
“I’m going to cry on the way home in the car,” Harper said of the turnout for the event, “but I’m just so happy when I look and see all of the people, all people of all colors, of all kinds, we all together having fun, look. It’s beautiful.”
Bringing people together was also a goal at Green Bay’s other Juneteenth celebration.
“There’s so much fear about what we don’t know,” Robin Scott, Executive Director of We All Rise African American Resource Center said, “and so when folks have never been around black folks, you’ve never experienced that joy and that soul and that fun, and so here’s an opportunity to experience it.”
The event was hosted by We All Rise and Black Lives United in Green Bay’s Murphy Park.
A mobile vaccine clinic, offering both vaccinations and education about the vaccine was on-site from noon until 2 p.m.
“I think it’s significantly important that we allow folks to get the knowledge first about the vaccine, especially in our community, where there is historically a lot of distrust in the healthcare system,” Scott said.
Education is a major theme of the event.
“If you really want to be reflective and a part of your actual community, and not siloed, then you want to come out here and experience events like this because this is a representation of black life,” Scott said.
The event in Murphy Park ran from noon to 7 p.m. Saturday.
Harper’s downtown event wrapped up earlier in the day.
She told Local 5 that turnout for the event was encouraging.
“We know a lot of things are wrong in the world, but on this day, at this time, in this event, it’s going to be all about love. All about love,” she said.