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Office Closure June 19 for Juneteenth Celebration

Juneteenth is the oldest known celebration commemorating the ending of slavery in the United States. President Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863, but it wasn’t until June 19, 1865 (some two and a half years later) until Union soldiers finally notified the last slaves of Galveston, Texas, that they were now free. The former slaves celebrated their freedom on this day, June 19, 1865, which is now considered the first “Juneteenth.”

Texas became the first state in 1985, 120 years after the first Juneteenth celebration, to make Juneteenth an official holiday. 43 states, including Iowa, and the District of Columbia have also passed laws or resolutions since then that recognize the importance of Juneteeth history.

As an anti-violence organization, IowaCASA recognizes that sexual violence has historically been used as a tool of white supremacy and slavery to oppress and marginalize others. We will be honoring the Juneteenth celebration by closing our office on Monday, June 19.

We encourage community members to take part in Juneteenth events across the state:

Free admission to the African American Museum in Cedar Rapids

Friday, June 16th from 4:00 - 6:30pm

55 12th Ave SE, Cedar Rapids, IA 52401

Neighbors Day in Des Moines

Saturday, June 17th from 12pm – 6pm

Evelyn K. Davis Park, 1400 Forest Ave, Des Moines, IA 50314

Juneteenth Parade in Des Moines

Saturday, June 17th from 10am – 12pm

Parade route begins at the Evelyn K. Davis Park in Des Moines

Juneteenth Festival in Cedar Rapids

Saturday, June 17th from 11am – 4pm

Viola Gibson Park, 1201-1391 10th St SE, Cedar Rapids, IA 52401

Juneteenth celebration in Iowa City

Saturday, June 24th from 12pm – 6pm

Mercer Park Aquatic Center, 2701 Bradford Dr, Iowa City, IA 52240

We hope you’ll join IowaCASA’s team as we celebrate this milestone for civil rights and social justice!

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