“Bringing together local, state and national leaders to amplify anti-racism and a vision for a transformed Boston by 2030.”
Though the Embrace memorial in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Coretta Scott King has been finished for less than a year, it feels like Embrace Boston, the organization behind the structure on the Common and a cornucopia of programming that spurred from it, has been here for years.
They’re even already hosting their second annual Embrace Ideas Festival, from June 14 to 16, during the three days leading up to the Juneteenth holiday weekend. “The festival, grounded in arts, ideas, culture and public scholarship, is an annual celebration of Juneteenth, uplifting the communities that have long celebrated it and inspiring all people to embrace the concept in building a new national ‘monument’ together.”
“We want The Embrace Ideas Festival to create a greater sense of inclusivity around America’s first true Independence Day,” Imari Paris Jeffries, executive director of Embrace Boston, said in a statement. “This annual celebration will provide our communities with the necessary tools for all people to celebrate the Holiday, and in turn, create a safe space for learning, ideas, and enjoying music together.”
As Boston establishes its role as an epicenter of the Juneteenth holiday, Embrace Boston invites the community to experience keynotes, panels, and live music that will shine a light on how to interrupt zero-sum game thinking in relation to racial justice and realizing a democracy worthy of its communities through this year’s theme – “Here and Present, The Art of Reclaiming Space and Time.”
More info from the organizers below:
The Festival will kick off with Embrace Boston’s first-ever Juneteenth Concert on the Boston Common. At the first formal event at The Embrace memorial since its unveiling, the team will be joined by Boston Mayor Michelle Wu, who will perform alongside The Embrace Choir. On the festival’s final day, Embrace Boston will host “The Embrace Honors,” awarding community leaders and Roxbury’s own for their commitment and leadership for being a catalyst for change in our communities.
Following the ceremony, Embrace Boston will kick off the Juneteenth weekend with The Embrace Ideas Block Party at Roxbury Community College, which aims to celebrate artistic expression through a lively party headlined by Grammy Award-nominated music producer & DJ, Just Blaze. This evening celebration will be a joyful night of dancing, music, and community.
“I’m grateful to Embrace Boston for creating community spaces to uplift and celebrate Black voices at their Juneteenth Festival,” Boston Mayor Michelle Wu said. “I look forward to coming together through music, community and conversation to share and reflect on experiences.”