June 19, 2024 Blog

Juneteenth Celebrating Black-led Organization Championing Gun Violence Prevention in Washington State

Here in King County and across Washington State, there are dozens of Black- and African American-led organizations and groups working to improve the wellbeing of our communities and advance equity, rooted in generations of lived experience and leadership. The Alliance is proud to partner with many of these organizations in our collective efforts to end gun violence and build equitable, culturally responsive, anti-racist systems allowing everyone in our community to thrive.

This Juneteenth and throughout the year, take time to learn about and support these organizations and their work, including some of our partners listed below!

Academy for Creating Excellence (ACE)

ACE’s mission is to provide high quality services in support of men of color. Fostering safe spaces to facilitate their growth to best understand themselves as viable world citizens.

Building Resilience Awareness & Variations of Excellence (BRAVE)

Building Resilience Awareness & Variations of Excellence is an innovative youth development social justice agency that works with Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) scholars and their families. BRAVE collaborates with youth of color in their learning and development journey⁠—providing experiences and resources for critical thinking, exploring voice, deepening brilliance, and contributing to the health and renewal of their environments, communities, and reshaping systems.

Choose 180

CHOOSE 180 began in 2011 as a community-centered effort in partnership with the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office to impact racial disproportionality, keep youth out of the juvenile criminal legal system, and break the school-to-prison pipeline. Recognizing that the criminal legal system was not the most effective tool in addressing complex social issues, then King County Prosecuting Attorney Dan Satterberg reached out to community leader Doug Wheeler Jr. to partner in creating an alternative to traditional prosecution.

Community Passageways

Community Passageways creates alternatives to incarceration for youth and young adults by rebuilding our communities through committed relationships centered on love, compassion, and consistency.

For The Culture Counseling Services

For The Culture Counseling Services strives to provide evidenced based treatment to our clients. Our therapists are trauma informed, and culturally competent to serve the needs of the community. For The Culture believes in treating the family as a whole, and is dedicated to engaging families in services.

Institute for Black Justice

The Institute for Black Justice relentlessly pursues equity and justice for all.

Resilient In Sustaining Empowerment (RISE)

Established in 2020, Resilient In Sustaining Empowerment (RISE) is dedicated to supporting families impacted by gun violence in Seattle and surrounding cities. They prioritize the well-being of children, caregivers, and families, offering healing opportunities in small group settings. Their focus includes promoting positive identity, self-care, child development, and trauma recovery education. With a compassionate team and unwavering commitment, RISE provides a safe haven for healing, resilience, and a brighter future.

Urban League of Metropolitan Seattle

The Urban League of Metropolitan Seattle (ULMS) serves as an architect of change with a mission of empowering those we serve by providing programming and essential services designed to support and encourage self-sufficiency in all aspects of life.

Progress Pushers

Progress Pushers mission is to guide, educate, and empower youth that are most impacted by societal systems. We believe that by connecting them to mentors, needed skills and opportunities this population can thrive in their own image of greatness!

Rainier Beach Action Coalition (RBAC)

RBAC is a grassroot, Black-led organization devoted to locally driven development. For over ten years, it has promoted quality education, living wage jobs, affordable transportation and housing, and building community capacity in Seattle’s Rainier Beach neighborhood.

Freedom Project

Freedom Project works alongside the community to dismantle the institution of mass incarceration and heal its traumatic effects on individuals directly impacted by incarceration, on their loved ones, and on our community.

Urban Family

The mission of Urban Family is to create opportunities that empower urban youth and their families to develop their full potential and help reshape the social environment of their community.

Fathers & Sons Together

Fathers & Sons Together (FAST) is a youth development organization that focuses on family development, providing guidance, support, and nurturing to families, specifically those of color. FAST promotes lifestyle changes that support improved educational outcomes, improved health, and wellness.

Somali Health Board‍

Somali Health Board is a public, non-profit grassroots organization, formed in 2012 by Somali health professionals and volunteers concerned about the health disparities that disproportionately affect new immigrants and refugees within King County, with ambitious goals of eliminating and reducing health disparities.

History of Juneteenth

Juneteenth commemorates June 19, 1865, the day when enslaved Africans in Galveston, Texas, learned from Union soldiers that they were free, two years after Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation. Until that point, Texas was the most remote of the slave states with low union representation and increasing slave population.

Observed by African Americans since the late 1800’s, early celebrations of Juneteenth involved families getting together, observing prayer, sharing meals, and in some cases making an annual pilgrimage back to Galveston. In 1872, a group of African American community leaders in Houston purchased 10 acres of land and created Emancipation Park, a space intended to hold the city’s annual Juneteenth celebration.

Also called Jubilee Day, Freedom Day, and Emancipation Day today communities continue to celebrate by bringing families together over food, with some cities holding larger events like parades and festivals. Despite many states already designating Juneteenth as a state holiday, it has yet to be successfully declared as a national holiday.

To learn more about the history of Juneteenth and slavery, access the resources below:

WATCH: The 1619 Project | 13th | Juneteenth: What You Need to Know
READ: What is Juneteenth? NMAACH Experts Weigh In | A History of Juneteenth
VISIT: Northwest African American Museum | Black Owned Bookstores

Want to celebrate Juneteenth in the community? Find local events happening in King County and across Washington State:

South Seattle Emerald 2024 Guide to Juneteenth Events
KNKX Public Radio 2024 Juneteenth Regional Events

Want to help amplify?

Follow the organizations above on social media, subscribe to their newsletters, and consider supporting their work.

You can also re-share the Alliance`s Juneteenth social media posts on LinkedIn, and Facebook and Instagram which feature these organizations.

Learn more about our partners: