Gain Perspective from Dr. Hedy Lemar Walls

On Sunday, June 19, we will be celebrating Juneteenth, the oldest nationally celebrated commemoration of the ending of slavery in the United States. Juneteenth originated in Galveston, Texas in 1865 and has spread across the United States and beyond.

Juneteenth commemorates African American freedom and emphasizes education and achievement. It is a day, a week, and in some areas a month marked with celebrations, guest speakers, picnics and family gatherings. It is a time for reflection and rejoicing. It is a time for assessment, self-improvement and planning the future. Its growing popularity signifies a level of maturity and dignity in America long overdue. In cities across the country, people of all races, nationalities and religions are joining hands to truthfully acknowledge a period in our history that shaped and continues to influence our society today. Sensitized to the conditions and experiences of others, only then can we make significant and lasting improvements in our society.

In June we also celebrate our LGBTQ+ community across the world. June was chosen as the month because it is when the Stonewall riots took place in 1969.

This year there are so many opportunities for us to join our LGBTQ+ family members, friends, colleagues and neighbors to recognize the incredible influence and beautiful contributions they make to our community. Now more than ever it is important for us to stand side by side with them as the events and marches happen this month because their rights and freedoms are vital for an inclusive world.

There are so many organizations in our local community to join and support as well as participate in June events.  Please check them out:

The YMCA Equity Innovation Center is here for you to intentionally engage in thought-provoking experiences and resources that will expand your knowledge and skills. We invite individuals and groups to embark on a pathway of Leading with Excellence and Equity through learning experiences that can be applied in system change work for greater equity. Join us on the journey through engaging sessions held virtually on Zoom, safe in person or in a mixture of virtual and in-person settings. 

Connect with our team to discuss how we can support you.

Read past issues of the UnitedHealth Group Equity Innovation Center of Excellence Connection.