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Honoring Juneteenth and Celebrating Freedom

We, the Wayside BIPOC Affinity Group, are sending this message out to emphasize the significance of Juneteenth and to encourage our colleagues and community alike to join us in honoring this important day. 

Juneteenth holds immense historical significance. It commemorates the emancipation of enslaved African Americans in the United States. On June 19, 1865, Union General Gordon Granger arrived in Galveston, Texas, and proclaimed that all enslaved individuals were now free. This proclamation came two and a half years after the Emancipation Proclamation was signed, highlighting the delayed recognition of freedom for African Americans.

Juneteenth is important because it encourages us to reflect on the history of slavery and its lasting impacts. It provides an opportunity to educate ourselves and others about the experiences and contributions of African Americans. We encourage you to take this opportunity to educate yourself and others about the history of Juneteenth and its significance. Engage in conversations, attend events, and support initiatives that celebrate Black culture and history. By doing so, we can collectively work towards a more just and equitable society for all. Let us come together as a community to honor Juneteenth, dismantle systemic racism, and promote a culture of inclusion and equity.


“Although many acknowledge substance use as the number one health problem in North America, (5) data reveals that treatment gaps are enormous. In 2018, only 18% of people identified as needing treatment actually received it (6).These gaps are greater for minoritized communities. For Black and Latinx groups in the US, 90% and 92%, respectively, diagnosed with a SUD did not receive addiction treatment (7,8). Another study showed that Black patients were 70% less likely to receive a prescription for buprenorphine at their visit when controlling for payment method, sex, and age (9). Furthermore, a study of privately insured people who suffered an overdose and were treated at an emergency room found that Black patients were half as likely to obtain treatment following overdose compared with non-Hispanic white patients (10). Studies have also shown that despite uniform rates of substance use among racial and ethnic populations, there is a disproportionate rate of drug arrests for Black Americans. For example, cannabis use is equally prevalent among Black and white people, yet Black people are 3.64 times as likely to be arrested for possession (11).”

 Check out the rest of this article from the Yale School of Medicine here: Racial Inequities in Treatments of Addictive Disorders < Yale School of Medicine

In America, Black women are 3-4 times more likely to experience a pregnancy-related death than white women. The U.S. has the highest maternal and infant mortality rate among comparable countries. Learn more about this and how our Wayside Maternal and Infant Health program is addressing these disparities. Maternal Health Landing Page – Wayside Recovery Center

Maternal and Infant Health Education Series: MIH Health Disparities (


Check out upcoming trainings, such as:


 Events for Juneteenth

• Soul of the Southside Juneteenth Festival Wednesday June 19th, 2024, time:12pm-8pm location: 3010 Minnehaha Ave MPLS 55406 (under the canopy @ the hook and ladder theater) Free event for all ages

• ROCC the City Juneteenth Celebration Wednesday, June 19th 5pm-8pm 1701 Charlton Street, West St. Paul 55119 Free event for all ages