2021 was the first year that Project Angel Heart participated in Juneteenth, the national holiday commemorating the freedom of African American slaves and a celebration of black culture. Several team members hosted an information booth over the holiday weekend to share our mission. We gathered with fellow Coloradans to acknowledge the struggle and perseverance of Black people and our community’s commitment to growth, equity, and universal love.
While Juneteenth has been celebrated annually by cities across the country, this year, June 19th was finally deemed a federal holiday. We felt honored to have participated in the event this year and will continue to do so every year. Below is an account of our staff’s experience this year!
“It was so wonderful to be a part of PAH at this year’s Juneteenth Festival. Everyone who came by our booth was overly thankful for our contributions to the community and happy to see us there!” – Marnie Brinckerhoff, Prep Cook
“Juneteenth was a blast! Seeing the culture and diversity of folks that were walking around the event was beautiful. I am glad that we got to speak with many people that happened to mosey on by our booth. With this being our first year having a booth present at the Juneteenth festival, it was significant that we sparked some curiosity. Folks would walk up to our booth and ask us what our organization did and would donate or sign up to volunteer. It was great to see such a positive response. The best part was being recognized by clients. I would ask,” Have you heard of our organization before?” A few clients expressed they hadn’t just heard about us but were alive and well due to receiving our services. The experience was phenomenal.” – Kamisha Jones, Volunteer Resources Coordinator
“It was an honor to represent Project Angel Heart this year at the Juneteenth festivities. This year marks the first time in history that the United States Government is acknowledging Juneteenth as a Federal Holiday, making the experience more special. Thank you to Kamisha Jones for coordinating with the event leaders and for arranging staff support the day of. I look forward to participating next year and for many more years to come.” – Kyle Copp, Operations & Sustainability Manager
“Celebrating Juneteenth with the Project Angel Heart team, the City of Denver, and friends and visitors was a fun weekend of great music, impressive vendors, and beyond delicious food. Most importantly, it was a time to celebrate the resilience, history, and rich culture of Black America, recognizing that “nobody’s free until everybody’s free.” I was especially appreciative of the opportunity to connect with and grow the Project Angel Heart community as a mix of faces showed up at our booth. Current and former volunteers, donors, referrers, and even clients, as well as plenty of folks who were just first learning what we are all about. I’m always struck by the generosity of the community, and this was no exception. We owe Kamisha a big ‘thank you’ for organizing Project Angel Heart’s first official presence at Denver’s Juneteenth celebration, and for starting a tradition that will hopefully be carried on for years to come!” – Nic Soucy, Client Services Coordinator