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City of Jackson Celebrates Juneteenth
On June 17, 2021, President Joe Biden proclaimed Juneteenth to be a federal holiday. Juneteenth (short for “June Nineteenth”) marks the day when federal troops arrived in GalvestonTexas in 1865 to take control of the state and ensure that all enslaved people be freed. The troops’ arrival came a full 2 ½ years after the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation. To view a narration of  Juneteenth’s history please view this video from JTV.

People around the nation observed Juneteenth in a variety of ways, and our community was no exception. The City of Jackson held a 2-day event observing the holiday, themed “The Black Town Hall; the Time has Come.” This local celebration was presented as both a virtual and a live events and featured a Black-Owned Business panel, Health Disparities panel, and a Racial Inequities/Social Justice and Criminal Justice Reform Panel.

Moving forward, let’s make sure that Juneteenth serves as more than a celebration. Let’s make it a time to educate ourselves on the holiday’s historical importance and reflect on our nation’s longstanding struggle for equal rights... and then do something about it. ▪
Second Network Affinity Group Launches July 13!
In the wake of the Network's first Affinity Group launch last week, we are excited to announce our second Affinity Group launch. The group will meet up in mid-July and collaborate on the root cause "Service Systems are Difficult to Navigate." Are you (or your organization) involved in work whose audience deals with this issue? Or are you just interested in seeing what an Affinity Group is all about? Mark your calendars and plan to attend this meeting.

During the convening, we will explore:
  • Group names
  • The definition of “difficulty navigating systems” and our community’s experience with it
  • Who should attend these groups? Is there anyone missing?
  • Defining and exploring strategies to align partner work on the "difficulty navigating systems" root cause
  • Next steps and the scheduling of future meetings
Please forward this information on to anyone working on addressing navigating systems in our community and give them the opportunity to be included in these meetings
Click here to register - all are welcome! ▪
Free Human-Centered Design Course Opportunity
On Tuesday, July 6, Acumen Academy is hosting a free, five week online course on Human-Centered Design (HCD) supported through IDEO.org. (As noted in the June 11 newsletter, HCD is problem solving that develops solutions to problems utilizing the human perspective). In this class, attendees will learn how to:
  • Turn your idea into a tangible product or service in a low-cost, risk-averse way
  • Gain valuable feedback from the people you're designing for and incorporate it into new iterations
  • Refine a concept using the cycle of prototyping, feedback, and iteration
  • Experiment to prototype products, services, interactions and environments
  • Take your learning from our introduction to Human-Centered
Click here to watch a preview of the class and here for more information and to register. ▪

What is Systematic Racism?

NAACP President Derrick Johnson defines systemic racism, also called structural racism or institutional racism, as "systems and structures that have procedures or processes that disadvantages African Americans." Systemic racism affects every area of life in the United States. From incarceration rates to predatory loans, education to healthcare -- trying to solve these problems requires changes in major parts of our system. 

This video is written, animated and produced by Alex Cequea, a Sr. Producer at act.tv and former Marketing executive at Cisco. It shows us a side-by-side walk through the life experiences of two children, Kevin and Jamal, and how systemic racism affects their lives. 

Take some time to watch the video and share it with others. The first step in defeating systematic racism is education! ▪
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