Grandmother of Juneteenth Says It’s Something All Americans Should Celebrate #JuneteenthAdvocate #YAPCelebratesJuneteenth - Article Details

Grandmother of Juneteenth Says It’s Something All Americans Should Celebrate #JuneteenthAdvocate #YAPCelebratesJuneteenth

Photo courtesy of Ms. Opal Lee 

On Friday, June 11, 94-year-old Opal Lee, known as the grandmother of Juneteenth, will be guest of honor at a pre-Juneteenth week kick-off hosted by Youth Advocate Programs (YAP), Inc.

A national nonprofit in 30 states and the District of Columbia, YAP provides community-based alternatives to youth incarceration, out-of-home placement, and neighborhood violence. For decades, Ms. Lee has been an advocate for Juneteenth, fighting for it to be a national holiday. She says all Americans should celebrate what Juneteenth represents -- the ending of government supported enslavement of human beings and efforts by YAP and other social justice organizations to undo decades of racial inequities that followed.

“I want people to know that Juneteenth is not just about Texas; it’s a celebration for all Americans,” she said. “None of us is free until all of us are free.”

Ms. Lee will share details about Juneteenth -- how enslaved people in Texas were among the last to get enforcement of the Emancipation Proclamation. She will also talk about her childhood, including how White vigilantes burned down her home when she was 12.

Ms. Lee’s appearance kicks off a week of pre-Juneteenth YAP employee events, which will be shared on social media throughout June -- before, during and after the June 19th holiday. YAP has also created Juneteenth social media images, which the nonprofit is encouraging employees and others to download and share on their personal pages to commemorate the holiday.

To register for Ms. Lee’s 30-minute YAP talk, Friday, June 11, 2 pm – 2:30 ET, please go to To learn more about YAP, please visit

Recording of Ms. Lee's talk:



Please download the images below and share on your social media:  #JuneteenthAdvocate     #YAPCelebratesJuneteenth




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Ryanne Persinger,
National Communications Director

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