Juneteenth – also known as Freedom Day, Jubilee Day, Liberation Day, and Emancipation Day is a celebration of the emancipation of enslaved peoples in the US, and the acknowledgement of the long struggle to relay that message across the country to those that were enslaved.
This year, it has taken on a renewed significance as the country has struggled with continued racial injustice for many of its citizens.
While our minds reflect on the pain of past and present events, we also want to take the opportunity to highlight and celebrate the historic impact of Black identities that serve to create a culture of community and togetherness.
We will hear from two guest speakers who embody the spirit of black excellence and joy in what they do every day to lift up the community in the surrounding DC area. The first hour will be a planned program and the second hour is reserved for Q&A. Please come and go as you are able.
Bishop Walker is an Educator, Activist, Theologian and a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc. He has a special focus in teaching History through the lens of the African American experience. Bishop attended Johnson C. Smith University and obtained a bachelor’s in Education/History with a concentration in Political Science. He then went on to complete a masters program in Theology from Howard University with a focus on the historical study of social justice through religious organizations and churches.
Bishop currently works as a history teacher in Washington, DC. He serves the surrounding DC area through youth activism, education and community empowerment. He prides himself as “an advocate for Black and Brown youth in Washington, DC.” Bishop’s work and activism has been featured in the Washington Post and the New York Times.
Ryan Brookens is a passionate and reflective educator originally from Plainfield, N.J.. He currently serves as a lead high school teacher with KIPP DC charter schools. Ryan has also taught at both the elementary and middle school levels within the Washington D.C. area, and in Camden, NJ.
In his classroom, he seeks to inspire youth to seek change through knowledge of the past. Mr. Brookens is proud to infuse into his curriculum hip-hop, film, and project-based learning activities, serving as important tools to engage students. Outside of this important work, you can find him collecting vinyl records, debating sports, exploring nature, and trying new foods.