Children's Arts & Science Workshops, Inc.

Juneteenth 2024: Freedom, Movement, and Migration

The month of June is the start of a busy season for CASW, but it is also cause for celebration; as the school year winds down and we gear up for programs like SYEP and Summer Rising, we always look forward to an annual tradition: Our Juneteenth Celebration at our Boone Ave Office!!! As we’ve done for the past two years, we were glad to welcome both SYEP participants and our partners at DYCD to celebrate freedom, Black history, and equality!

As a community-based organization, we consider it our responsibility to educate our colleagues and participants on the importance of occasions like Juneteenth, especially as a celebration of the diversity and richness of NYC!

What makes this year special?

According to the Smithsonian Institute, the theme of Juneteenth 2024 is “Freedom, Movement, and Migration.” It is essential to understand that Black Americans today are a part of the African Diaspora; a lineage whose story is rooted in the concepts of movement and migration. Historically, the purpose and nature of this migration is varied and complex; members of the diaspora have moved through both non-consensual and consensual means, and different generations have had distinct motivations and circumstances influencing these travels.

The end result has been this: The African diaspora and its influence has been far-reaching as its members have settled all around the world, changing society in their efforts to seek freedom, advocate for justice, and assert their humanity. We attempted to honor this history through our own celebrations.

The Event:

The celebration was held in tandem with an SYEP orientation for younger youth (ages 14-15), who sat down for a general information session, followed by musical and dance performances celebrating the African diaspora, as well as the concepts of freedom, equality, and movement! Workforce received a record turnout of participants, so the event was broken up into two sections. Those who attended later in the afternoon also has the opportunity to sit for a Q&A with DYCD commissioner Keith Howard, who gladly answered questions about SYEP, career advice, and his own journey from SYEP to NYC government.

All in all, we’re proud of yet another Juneteenth celebration and look forward to more stories about NYC youth this summer!