KBAC plans Juneteenth celebration

Exposure, growth and education are important to a Kent nonprofit organization committed to acknowledging and advancing the work of African Americans in South King County. To catch and showcase that, organizers with the Kent Black Action Commission (KBAC) are busy preparing for its second annual Juneteenth celebration, set for June 15 at the Kent Senior Center. The community-wide event will feature programs, information, vendors, food, entertainment and speakers while commemorating African American freedom and emphasizing education and achievement.

Gwen Allen-Carston

Exposure, growth and education are important to a Kent nonprofit organization committed to acknowledging and advancing the work of African Americans in South King County.

To catch and showcase that, organizers with the Kent Black Action Commission (KBAC) are busy preparing for its second annual Juneteenth celebration, set for June 15 at the Kent Senior Center. The community-wide event will feature programs, information, vendors, food, entertainment and speakers while commemorating African American freedom and emphasizing education and achievement.

The event, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., is free and open to the public.

“We’re inviting the community to the event … to bridge all groups and organizations,” said Gwen Allen-Carston, KBAC executive director and business owner. “This day will be one of history and knowledge.”

Juneteenth is the oldest nationally celebrated commemoration of the ending of slavery in the United States. From its Galveston, Texas origin in 1865, the observance of June 19 as the African American Emancipation Day has spread throughout the country, including Kent.

KBAC, a small organization that meets regularly and holds special events, is looking to grow in size and stature. It also is working to attract sponsorships, particularly to support its Juneteenth event.

“We hope Juneteenth will boost our membership,” Allen-Carston said. “We want all to come out and share the experience.”

This year’s celebration will include a parent-student summit, encouraging students to write and read essays on why education is important. The summit and subsequent workshops were made possible through small grants from the Road Map Project, a community-wide effort to dramatically improve student achievement from cradle to college and career in South King County and South Seattle. Road Map Project partners, including nonprofit organizations, public health and housing agencies, school districts and parents, collaborated and co-designed the forum to address needs identified by parents.

The KBAC summit organizers welcome students and parents to participate in the essay program, an educational component to Juneteenth.

“We want to help create a formidable team with students and parents,” said Richard Johnson, director of project funding for KBAC who was instrumental in obtaining the grants. “We want to address and close the achievement gap (in education).”

KBAC seeks a major co-sponsor for the event. If interested, please contact Johnson by May 20 at 253-631-7944 or ajrj01@msn.com.

To learn more about the organization, call 253-852-0614 or visit www.kentblackactioncommission.com.

More in News

Kent School Board approves plans for independent performance audit of the district

Audit will look at financial transactions, policies and procedures made during the past six school years

Apollo 11 Command Module Columbia on temporary cradle. Photo by Eric Long, National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution.
NBA superstar invited to museum’s Apollo 11 exhibit

Warriors’ Stephen Curry, former moon landing doubter, is welcomed to upcoming display of lunar spaceship

Kent Police to start up body-worn cameras pilot program

10 officers to wear devices beginning Dec. 21

Law enforcement agencies bust 14 more in drug dealing crackdown

Kent man named as high-level manager of group

Gregerson to chair State Government and Tribal Relations Committee

33rd District representative serves part of Kent

High wind could strike Kent, Seattle, Tacoma and vicinity on Friday

Potential 40 mph sustained winds, 60 mph gusts

Underserved youth get in tune with RAP

Nonprofit organization tries to make a difference in the lives of at-risk kids and their struggling families

Most Read