Juneteenth: A Journey Towards Racial Justice

It is time to go BEYOND what we thought possible and strive for a society that surpasses prior expectations to reach unprecedented levels of advancement. 

The words “Nobody’s Free Until Everybody’s Free” are just as powerful today as when Fannie Lou Hamer spoke them in 1971 at the Founding of the National Women’s Political Caucus, and they are especially relevant when considering the momentous occasion of Juneteenth. June 19th, also known as “Juneteenth,” marks the emancipation of enslaved individuals in the United States by commemorating the historic moment in 1865 when, following the Civil War, enslaved people were declared free under the 1862 Emancipation Proclamation

Juneteenth is an essential day of reflection on the sacrifices and triumphs of the Black community and to address our shared history. By doing this, we pave the way toward a future characterized by equity and hope. The Clayco Foundation aims to do even more to make a positive impact by supporting associations that align with our mission to go “Beyond These Walls” to help the most vulnerable members where we live and work. 

Our Juneteenth Fund is a beacon of hope that bolsters the vitality of socio-economically disadvantaged populations. To date, we have committed over $620,000 to 27 impactful and deserving associations, including the seven Black-owned community-based organizations that are the 2024 beneficiaries: TGiMovement, Tools Up Foundation, Servants For Hope, Beyond EDU, Liv Recovery Sober Living, Young Voices with Action, and Next Level Boys Academy

These exemplary institutions each received $25,000 grants to further their visions of improving underserved neighborhoods in St. Louis, Chicago, and Atlanta. By investing in underrepresented demographics and areas, we can empower minority youth and marginalized people to reach their full potential and overcome daily challenges with resources and support. Each of these organizations is a testament to the transformative power of collective efforts to build a brighter pathway for generations to come. 

The Clayco Foundation hosted the fourth annual Juneteenth Fund Celebration to honor these extraordinary steps forward and revitalize our goal of building a more inclusive and equitable world through unity and emotional testimony. Commissioner of the Chicago Department of Planning and Development, Ciere Boatright, and Illinois Congressman Jonathan Jackson spoke on the significance of the Juneteenth Fund and what the donations mean for the recipients. We even had a live performance by Chicago rapper Vic Mensa and music provided by DJ Peter CottonTale, a music producer for Chance the Rapper – all Chicagoland staples for a truly culturally immersive and inspirational evening.

I take great pride in The Clayco Foundation and how our grassroots efforts promote freedom and safety. This event is central to the philosophy of Clayco, and I am glad to see this legacy carry on through our team, network, clients, and partners, who are dedicated to furthering awareness of injustices and elevating the voices of those who need it the most. 

Yet again, our Juneteenth “Flourishing Forward” celebration was an incredible success and a leap toward generating more inclusivity across our neighborhoods. Seeing so many diverse people come together for a common cause was very inspiring, and I’m proud of how much we raised to keep furthering social justice. I can’t wait to see how these valuable programs continue to grow and thrive!

Read more here. 

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