My Suburban Life

La Grange groups plan Juneteenth event

Sister Mary Jo Curtsinger (from left), Harold Gibson of CommUNITY Diversity Group of La Grange and Carolyn Sims Goddard celebrate Juneteenth.

LA GRANGE – Community organizations announce a Juneteenth event offering an indoor hour of prayer, recognition, restoration and celebration at 4:30 p.m. June 20 in the La Grange Community Center.

The celebration is co-sponsored by the Congregation of Sisters of St. Joseph of La Grange Park, CommUNITY Diversity Group of La Grange, Park District of La Grange, and La Grange east-side community residents, a news release stated.

The featured speaker is the Rev. Wheeler Parker Jr., civil rights activist and cousin of Emmett Till. Longtime La Grange businesswoman Ren’ee Hodges will be honored. The 2022 theme is a quote attributed to another civil rights figure, Fannie Lou Hamer: “No one is free until everyone is free.”

The Juneteenth National Independence Day Act (2021) created the new federal holiday to commemorate freedom for enslaved Black people in Texas and Louisiana on June 19, 1865. Though President Abraham Lincoln had signed the Emancipation Proclamation on Jan. 1, 1863, the news was obstructed for two more years in those states. June 19 has since become a day of restoration and celebration.

The La Grange Community Center is at 200 S. Washington Ave. Masks are requested, and light refreshments will follow the program. For information, call 708-354-9200 or email