Thursday, June 21, 2018

Celebrating History and Diversity


East Palo just celebrated Juneteenth, the annual holiday on June 19 that was established to recognize the end of slavery. The actual date, June 19, 1885, marks the time that the slaves in Texas finally learned that they were free, ironically three years after the U.S Civil War had ended on January 1, 1863, with the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation.

The City of East Palo Alto has recognized and celebrated the anniversary for years, almost from the time it was incorporated as a city in 1983 (Coincidentally, on Monday, June 18, 2018, the City of East Palo Alto celebrated its 35th anniversary as a city.).

If you missed East Palo Alto’s celebration of Juneteenth this year on June 16 at the University Circle complex, then you can get a taste of it at the Presidio Trust Picnic, which is taking place this Sunday, June 24. The Presidio Trust will present a variety of cultural and community programs. This month the picnic will feature international cuisine, Afro-Haitian dance performances by the Alafia Dance Ensemble of the City College of San Francisco, a live Zumba lesson led by Gigi Hill-Hopkins, the director of African American holistic wellness at the Bayview YMCA, and food by the Presidio Trust's guest chef, Dimitri Lilavois, who will offer Haitian-Caribbean food from his food-truck Manj√©.

This past Monday, June 18, I had the special treat of 
Margaret Casey
interviewing Margaret Casey, the
cultural and community programs manager for the Presidio Trust and Mariella Morales, who is a professor at the City College of San Francisco and the director of the Alafia Dance Ensemble. We had an a very informative discussion about the upcoming Presidio Picnic and the variety of cultural programs the Presidio Trust will offer each month for the rest of this year.
Mariella Morales

You can listen to our discussion by clicking here  or by pressing the arrow on the left under the photo below, if you can see the photo in your browser.

Find out more about the Presidio Trust online at  https://www.presidio.gov/presidio-picnic  and at https://offthegrid.com/event/presidio-picnic .

Aren’t we, indeed, fortunate that we live in such a multi-cultural, multi-ethnic area that celebrates the diversity of the many cultures around us? 

If you missed the EPA Today article on the award the Presidio received from the U.S. Environmental Agency, you can read it here.