Outdoor Afro holds 2nd annual Juneteenth commemoration 

Written By Candace Dantes

Published on May 13, 2022

OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA – National not-for-profit Outdoor Afro will commemorate a significant part of American history through nature healing for Juneteenth 2022’s designated three-day holiday weekend taking place June 18 to June 20. This year’s theme: Reflecting on Freedom with Outdoor Afro. Juneteenth is historically marked as June 19. Outdoor Afro is offering the American people a nationwide invitation to achieve one simple request on this day: join our network to reflect on what it means to be free in this country.

“We can’t lose sight of what Juneteenth is truly about,” said Outdoor Afro Founder and CEO Rue Mapp. “There’s this false narrative of what the holiday symbolizes. Traditionally, America has recognized this day as a ‘celebration’ to the end of slavery in the United States – but that is not accurate.” In reality, June 19, 1865, is the date 250,000 enslaved Black Americans in Galveston, Texas, were told they were free. What appeared as “good” news was a memo the enslaved finally received two and a half years after the Emancipation Proclamation (signed Jan. 1, 1863) went into effect. 

“Outdoor Afro is correcting this narrative by sharing this history across the country,” said Outdoor Afro’s COO Joseph Mouzon. “To honor this day, we encourage our local communities, partners, supporters, and regional networks to just spend time in nature. Whether that’s at a nearby beach, public park, or your own backyard.” How you can join Outdoor Afro in reflecting on and commemorating freedom:

REGISTER HERE. By doing so, you’re simply pledging to join Outdoor Afro in nature. That’s it. We aim to get 50,000 people outside anywhere they feel comfortable in nature for only 2.5 hours to symbolize the 2.5 years of freedom delayed  for the 250,000 enslaved people of Galveston, Texas.

REFLECT WITH US AFTER JUNE 19. Immediately after Juneteenth, Outdoor Afro wants to know how participants spent their 2.5 hours outdoors. These nature stories connect to the American storyline by becoming a modern-day change agent and source of healing from our country’s traumatic past. Outdoor Afro will add this nature-rich content to its site to illustrate its ongoing Black joy and Black healing in nature efforts.

ABOUT OUTDOOR AFRO: Outdoor Afro is a national not-for-profit organization that celebrates and inspires Black connections and leadership in nature. What started as a kitchen table blog by Founder and CEO Rue Mapp in 2009 has since grown into a cutting-edge nationwide network with 100-plus volunteer leaders in 60 cities. “Where Black people and nature meet,” Outdoor Afro reconnects Black people with the outdoors through outdoor education, recreation, and conservation. Follow us on social at @outdoorafro

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Candace Dantes

Candace Dantes

Candace Dantes serves as Outdoor Afro's inaugural marketing and communications manager. The fourth-generation cowgirl and award-winning journalist and marketer is based in the Georgia Black Belt Region. For more than a decade, the rural Georgia storyteller has given agency to Black farming and cowhand culture in traditional and new media. From Smalltown USA, she has collaborated with global brands like London's Black Beauty & Hair Magazine and M&C Saatchi. Back home with U.S. Department of Agriculture research grant Black Farmers' Network, Wrangler, Justin Boots and Visit Fort Worth.