The Salvation Army hosts its 2nd Annual Juneteenth Freedom Celebration
On Saturday, June 17th, The Salvation Army hosted its second annual Juneteenth Freedom Celebration at Freedom Center on Chicago’s west side. The event marked a day of recognition, restoration, and celebration.
The evening was jam-packed with activities, including soul food from Luxury Resources, Decatur mime group Set the Atmosphere, steel drum music from Red Shield Steel Pan, spoken word poetry performed by Chicago Kroc Officer Lt. Shanell Johnson, and gospel choir TSA Madison.
Salvation Army Corps from across the territory joined in the celebration, including representatives from Springfield, Bloomington, Milwaukee, Red Shield, Chicago Temple, Harbor Light, Blue Island, Kroc Center, Territorial Program Secretaries, the Territorial Social Justice and City Mission Secretary, and representatives from Territorial Corps and Community Missions department. In total, more than 125 people came out to enjoy the festivities.
"Juneteenth is an occasion to pay respect for the sufferings of slavery," Captain Denesia Polusca, Corps Officer at The Salvation Army Temple Corps, said. "On this day, we remember our history and appreciate the African American experience."
The highlight of the evening was special guest Ted Williams III. As an actor, author, and professor, Ted Williams III has seen and done it all. Williams is a political science faculty member at Kennedy-King College and former host of PBS television's The Professors weekly talk show. Williams has appeared on NBC's Chicago PD, Showtime's The Chi, and authored The Way Out: Christianity, Politics, and the Future of the African American Community. Williams made a powerful impact on stage by discussing the importance of remembrance.
The message is clear for all the people that came out for the event: on Juneteenth, we come together to understand the energy wasted on racism. Juneteenth is a day that we pray for peace and liberty for all.