The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

Juneteenth celebrations in Sacramento

Fists are raised during the Juneteenth celebration and parade at Elk Grove Park organized by Malik Lewis, 19, Xavier Rivers, 21, and Cayman Welch, 22, in Elk Grove, California, Friday, June 19, 2020. Hundreds of people were in attendance at the peaceful demonstration. (Sara Nevis/[email protected])

Video and Audio Sara Olson (Telemundo) and Sara Nevis/Photos Sara Nevis and Arturo Gomez

Demonstrators gathered for a rally at Cesar E. Chavez Plaza June 19 to call for defunding the police and reallocating funds into local communities as part of a Juneteenth celebration hosted by Black Justice Sacramento.

The event, is inspired by the public outcry following the May 25 arrest and death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, was held on June 19, the date on which Union soldiers brought the news to Galveston, Texas, that the Civil War had ended two-and-a-half years earlier, and enslaved people were free.

“I hope that people realize that the power is with the people,” says Elika Bernard, communications director for Black Justice Sacramento. “We want those [police] funds reallocated and redistributed back into poor and struggling neighborhoods.”

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Registered nurse Asantewaa Boykin is co-founder of Anti Police-Terror Project (APTP) and director of Mental Health First, a featured speaker at the demonstration, said there are already programs in existence, such as Mental Health First and APTP medics, being powered by volunteers.

“The city of Sacramento and, quite frankly, the state of California is trying to figure out how to better serve the community,” said Boykin. “We are tired of our money going to police instead of the folks that are filling in the gaps that [these programs]should be filling.”

Reverend Dr. Mary Westfall, executive director for the Presbytery of Sacramento, said, “I’m grateful that there is a powerful interfaith voice that is saying it is time for black justice. It is time to acknowledge unapologetically that black lives matter, and we need to reprioritize our resources, our time, our institutions, and reimagine another way to be a community together.”

Anti Police-Terror Project

Black Justice Sacramento

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