In America, we are all fortunate to have freedom. But what do we do with our freedom and, more importantly, how did we get it? What are we doing to advocate for the freedom of the younger generations?
As we celebrate Juneteenth, let’s consider the history behind this new nationally recognized holiday. As I embark on a road down history, I think back on the generations of those who came before me. I have more freedom than my parents, they had more than theirs, and it continues back from there. Our freedoms have expanded from generation to generation. This Juneteenth, I celebrate the freedom we have today and continue to fight for those we have yet to secure.
A huge part of my life is being a mother, and as a mother, I enjoy challenging my daughter’s thought process to make her think about the larger picture. Yes, we have our home, our family, and our community, but I believe it is important to also understand those who came before us and why they are so connected to who we are today.
Women of color, and women in general, had a huge win at the end of 2020 when Kamala Harris was elected our first woman Vice President of the United States. At that moment, I decided to challenge my, at the time, eight-year-old daughter with a task. How did we, as a country, get there?
Of course, we as a people voted for and elected the Biden/Harris administration, but how did we really get there? During this assignment, she read many books about the civil rights movement going back to Harriot Tubman. We explored the viral image of Kamala Harris walking alongside the shadow of Ruby Bridges.
After doing her research, she concluded that because of the people before us, their voices, their sacrifices, and their journeys, we were able to celebrate this momentous moment in American History when Kamala became Vice President.
What my daughter learned was invaluable, and I want other young women to experience that as well. This year, I plan to give my Girl Scout Troop a similar assignment. For our Juneteenth celebration, we will celebrate freedom and hone in on what that means to them. A constant theme in our Troop is “How can we make the world a better place?”—which is also part of the Girl Scout Law we recite at each meeting.
During our celebration, we will think about the different things we can do to make the world a better place. Maybe it’s teaching someone to read, being friendly and kind to a new kid, or reading to older adults. They’ve likely done these things before, but I want to instill in them that all the little things we do are, in fact, making an impact. Each act of kindness makes the world a better place, and the more love, compassion, and understanding we have, the more freedoms we can achieve.
At McCann Partners, we support several organizations that invest in building a better world for the next generation. These amazing organizations like i.c. stars and Chicago Tech Academy are not only supporting youth but also bridging the diversity gap in IT.
As I look at the amazing work these organizations do, I think about the freedoms we have because fierce souls fought and sacrificed before us. Their sacrifice has given us more freedoms than some of them could have even imagined. And so, not in vain, I hope my efforts, in some small part, leave an impact on future generations and make tomorrow better than today.
What will you be doing to Celebrate Juneteenth?