The Martin Luther King Jr. Community Center in collaboration with the Dallas Police Department Office of Community Affairs will host a Drive-Thru Juneteenth Celebration on Saturday, June 19, 2021, from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
Attendees can drive through the MLK parking lot and open their trunks to receive free food, household products, informational resources, and more as we commemorate the Juneteenth holiday.
For guests without a car, there will be a designated area for walkups.
Local organizations may participate as a community partner for free, but must provide giveaways only- there will be no selling allowed. We will provide one 6-ft table and chairs, but you must bring your own tent and signage. A minimum of 500 items must be pre-packaged and ready to distribute on the day of the event.
Volunteer opportunities are available for groups and individuals. We will need help with setup and breakdown, logistics, and clean-up. If you are interested in volunteering, please contact Natashia Cooper at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We are accepting donations of non-perishable food items, hygiene, and household products. The MLK Center will be open to receive donations on Monday-Friday, from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and on Saturday from 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
If you are interested in being a sponsor, please contact our office at 214-670-8418.
What is Juneteenth?
On June 19, 1865, two months after the surrender of Confederate General Robert E. Lee at Appomattox Court House in Virginia, Union General Gordon Granger and approximately 1,800 federal troops arrived in Galveston, Texas, to take control of the state and enforce the Emancipation Proclamation.
Granger read General Orders No. 3, which declared in part: “The people of Texas are informed that, in accordance with a proclamation from the Executive of the United States, all slaves are free.” Juneteenth (short for “June Nineteenth”) is a holiday commemorating this day, which marked the effective end of slavery in the United States.
More than two years before Granger’s announcement, President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation (on January 1, 1863), which made known that all enslaved people in Confederate states in rebellion against the Union “shall be then, thenceforward, and forever free.”
After the war came to a close in the spring of 1865, General Granger’s arrival in Galveston that June signaled freedom for Texas’s 250,000 slaves. Although emancipation didn’t happen overnight for everyone—in some cases, slave owners withheld the information until after harvest season—celebrations broke out among newly freed blacks, and Juneteenth was born. (That December, slavery in America was formally abolished with the adoption of the 13th Amendment.)