The DeKalb branch of the NAACP is partnering with the 4th Annual “I AM A FATHER 5K Run/Walk” to host its 2nd Annual Juneteenth: “A Celebration of Freedom” event. The celebrations will be held on Saturday, June 16, 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Families, teams, and individuals will start the 5K at Greenforest Community Baptist Church, 3250 Rainbow Drive, Decatur. After returning the run/walk, the Juneteenth festivities will continue across the street at the Porter Sanford Performing Arts Center, 3181 Rainbow Drive, Decatur. There will be entertainment, workshops, cultural foods and vendors.
Juneteenth is the celebration that marks the freedom of slaves in Galveston, Texas who learned more than two years after President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation that they were free. Lincoln issued the proclamation on Sept. 22, 1862, with an effective date of Jan. 1, 1863. The more isolated Galveston slaves did not get word that they were free until June 19, 1865 when Major General Gordon Granger and an army of 2,000 Union soldiers informed the slaves of their freedom. Since then, the observance of Juneteenth has spread across the United States and beyond with a range of activities, such as festivals, picnics, barbeques, rodeos and other activities.
I Am a Father 5K Founder/Organizer David Manuel said he is looking forward to this year’s celebration with the DeKalb NAACP.
“We are excited as we enter into our 4th year to promote organ donor awareness and strengthening families by encouraging increased father engagement,” Manuel said.
The I am a Father 5K Run/Walk is an annual event for the entire family, celebrating fathers. Held on the Saturday before Father’s Day, the signature event promotes health and wellness, organ donation and community bonding.
DeKalb NAACP President Teresa Hardy said the civil rights organization will participate as a team in the 5K.
“We are excited to participate as a team named NAACP DeKalb Freedom Fighter in the 5K Run/Walk, as well as host our 2nd Annual Juneteenth Celebration of Freedom at Porter Sanford Performing Arts Center,” Hardy said.
Juneteenth will focus on education, self- preservation and self-improvement, Hardy said.
Manuel and Hardy are encouraging the community to come out and support the events.
Registration for the 5K may be made at: https://www.iamafather5k.org.
To register for the Juneteenth Celebration of Freedom, go to Eventbrite.com (search NAACP DeKalb Juneteenth Celebration of Freedom).