Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion: People Incorporated Celebrates Juneteenth and Pride Month

Fall River's Juneteenth celebration

Fall River’s Juneteenth celebration

People Incorporated participated in the City of Fall River’s Juneteenth event on Saturday, June 18. The event was well attended, and People Incorporated was honored not only to sponsor the event, but also to be able to send a contingent of generous volunteers who helped to set up and organize the festivities. This was Fall River’s largest Juneteenth celebration so far. The various family-friendly activities ranged from games, item sales, live music, and food trucks, and everything was on a bigger scale this year.

Every month, our Agency holds Lunch & Learn sessions through Zoom, which present an opportunity for People Incorporated staff to engage in thoughtful discussions on a range of topics such as race, gender, health inequities, and community issues, sometimes inviting community partners to share their story and experiences.

Our June Lunch & Learn was facilitated by Rev. Alvin Riley, Pastor of Mount Zion AME Church in Newport, RI and retired Dean of Students at Massasoit Community College in Brockton, MA. He provided an informative presentation on the history and significance of Juneteenth, which commemorates the end of slavery in the United States on June 19, 1865.

Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer (LGBTQ) Pride Month is currently celebrated each year in the month of June to honor the 1969 Stonewall Uprising in Manhattan, an event that was a tipping point for the Gay Liberation Movement in the United States. In the United States, the last Sunday in June was initially celebrated as “Gay Pride Day,” but the actual day was flexible. In major cities across the nation, the “day” soon grew to encompass a month-long series of events. Today, celebrations include pride parades, picnics, parties, workshops, symposia, and concerts, and LGBTQ Pride Month events attract millions of participants around the world. Memorials are held during this month for those members of the community who have been lost to hate crimes or HIV/AIDS. The purpose of the commemorative month is to recognize the impact that lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender individuals have had on history locally, nationally, and internationally (Library of Congress).

We are also happy to share that People Incorporated’s pilot LGBTQIA+ Employee Resource Group was a success. The group was held for four sessions and facilitated by Ashley Delgado, Clinician from Fall River Family Service Association. The group will continue to provide support and be a welcoming space for our employees and staff.