Ogden activist hopes Juneteenth will be a time to look ahead

Juneteenth Utah...

The Juneteenth flag waves in the wind outside of the City-County Building in Salt Lake City on Friday, June 18, 2021. Photo: Deseret News

SALT LAKE CITY — This is the first year that Utah celebrated Juneteenth as an official state holiday. One Ogden activist said it’s a time for celebration but also a time to look forward to what still needs to be done. 

Many people, including one Ogden woman, worked for decades to make this recognition happen.

Juneteenth commemorates the day federal troops arrived in Texas to ensure the liberation of enslaved people.

Betty Sawyer with the Ogden chapter of the NAACP, worked for decades to make it a recognized holiday.

“We can’t be satisfied sitting on the sidelines just as spectators and listeners,” said Sawyer.

“This work of social justice, of civil rights, commemorating our freedom is not for wimps,” continued Sawyer.

Juneteenth event today

A Salt Lake Juneteenth event takes place downtown at the Gateway Mall today from 12 p.m. to 7 p.m.

The free event happens today and kicks off with the Beloved Community Juneteenth Celebration Walk. The walk starts at the Utah State Capitol Building and ends at the Salt Lake City and County Building.

The celebration convenes back at The Gateway where the Black Owned Business Expo features local businesses and food trucks as vendors for the event.  The Black Art Exhibit display features talented visual artists, music, entertainment, a kids’ corner, storytelling, roller skating, and a movie night.

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