News Supporting Black communities for Juneteenth

This Friday June 19, people across the country will celebrate Juneteenth, an annual holiday commemorating the end of slavery in 1865.

On that day, 155 years ago, enslaved Africans learned in Galveston, Texas, that the Emancipation Proclamation had been signed by Pres. Lincoln on Jan. 1, 1863, more than two years earlier.

A day normally devoted to celebrating the progression of racial justice, recent events have shown us all too clearly that racial justice is far from our current reality.

Instead, this year we reflect on how far we have to go. Recently, the killings of Rayshard Brooks, George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, David McAtee, the alarming hanging of Robert Fuller and Malcolm Harsch in California, and countless others that we’ve lost to abject racism and oppression, signal the fight for justice and freedom is long from over.

Across the country we’ve witnessed a rallying of support for black communities. From protests demanding justice to the adoption of anti-racist reforms — individuals across the country are listening, waking up and taking action. Calls are being made in various communities throughout Massachusetts that Black Lives Matter.

As part of our continued efforts to support communities of color, this Juneteenth the Providers’ Council will be supporting local, black-owned businesses by purchasing goods and services. We encourage our members to join us in celebrating this important holiday by supporting black-owned businesses in, and around, their communities.

For individuals in the Greater Boston area, you can find an article in the Boston Globe here.

For those in the North Shore, you can find a list of black-owned businesses here.

For individuals in the Worcester area, you can find a list of black-owned restaurants and grocers here.

Here is a website for black-owned businesses in the Greater Springfield and Hartford, Conn. areas.

There is also a crowdsourced spreadsheet for the entire state here, and another for New England (organized by state/city) here.

You can also use the state’s website to search for certified minority-owned businesses.

We, at the Council, know this is just a small step and much more can and must be done by all of us to support our black communities and their businesses.  You are encouraged to participate and make this effort endure throughout the year, and every year. If you have any questions or additional resources to share, please contact Christina Broughton, who staffs our Race, Diversity and Inclusion initiatives at the Council via cbroughton@providers.org or 508.599.2243. Or, you may contact Michael Weekes, CEO at mweekes@providers.org.

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