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Community Advocacy Organization

JUNETEENTH CELEBRATION 2022


Courtesy Photo-Honorable Wanda M. Stokes 30th Circuit Court Judge Ingham County


During the celebration of Juneteenth — we renew the promise of true emancipation, and recall the bloody path America trod to delivering what Maj. General Gordon Granger of Texas termed: “Absolute equality of personal rights and rights of property…”


While it took a few years for the message of freedom to resonate throughout the nation following the Emancipation Proclamation of 1863, we continue today to celebrate the “joys of liberty, educating the community about our heritage, and by promoting positive cultural interaction”. (M. Plummer) The focus on our rich 400+ year African American history is worthy of celebration and pause!


It’s important to remember that the African American experience is an ‘American’ experience! It embodies every facet of our great nation.


The Juneteenth celebration further reminds us that freedom isn’t “free”! There are real and tangible costs to being called an American. And each of us, no matter what race or creed, must renew our resolve and commitment to continue to pay that cost!


Hon. Wanda M. Stokes 30th Circuit Court Ingham County After many months of shelter-in-place due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the sorrow of the many related deaths, civil unrest, the events of January 6th, lingering economic concerns, and some landmark court decisions, the observance of Juneteenth this year is even more poignant. This current climate confirms that we have moved past the era of melodic speeches or the quick turn of a political phrase to bring people together. There is a cry throughout our nation for tangible results evincing true equality.


Using our time, talents, and service in concert together is the only way we will achieve the goal of the “United” States envisioned by our founders and still the hope of today. A society of people committed to the health, safety, and prosperity of each other. A collective will centered around equal opportunities and access for everyone.


This Juneteenth my hope is for continued collaboration that will enlighten the path toward our living the meaning of freedom’s purpose for everyone! Blessings to all and our great nation.


Honorable Wanda M. Stokes

Circuit Court Judge

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