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Honor Juneteenth Outdoors

Sunday, June 19, 2022 will be the 157th anniversary of #Juneteenth—an annual recognition of the moment when 250,000 enslaved Black Americans in Galveston, Texas, were told they were free on June 19, 1865 – 2.5 years after the Emancipation Proclamation went into effect.

We echo both the celebrations and reverent remembrances of Juneteenth, and we ask everyone in our community who doesn’t yet know the history to learn more, with us, about why it’s an important holiday, an integral part of our country’s history, and a reminder for us to continue working towards equity for all. 

We are also excited to announce that Tinkergarten is partnering with Outdoor Afro – the nation’s leading, cutting-edge network that celebrates and inspires Black connections and leadership in nature – on an important initiative that engages all people in honoring Juneteenth. 

The Guide

Spend 2.5 Hours In Nature:

Tinkergarten is aligning with Outdoor Afro to recognize what freedom in America means to each of us, and you can participate too by doing two things:
  1. Visit a place in nature you’re comfortable with (a nearby park, forest, beach, or even your backyard) on June 19 for 2.5 hours to reflect on the 2.5 years freedom was denied for 250,000 enslaved people in Texas and, with that context in mind, reflect on the question, "What does freedom mean to me?"
  2. Share your experience after the 2.5 hours in nature with us by visiting outdoorafro.org/Juneteenth to submit your reflections for public view.
Outdoor Afro is developing a portal where you can submit your written reflection and they will aggregate, organize and publish the reflections for the world to read our collective narratives and relationships to nature.

To be part of this event, please register for this annual event outdoorafro.org/Juneteenth by simply clicking the “REGISTER HERE” button on the page. We'd love to have each of our efforts contribute to the goal of 50,000 people honoring Juneteenth together in this way.

Our Tinkergarten employee team will also be joining Outdoor Afro by taking 2.5 hours of our work day the week following Juneteenth to go outdoors and focus on honoring Juneteenth, remembering and reflecting. We look forward to sharing our reflections as part of this important project.

Share More With Kids:

We’ve found both the  framing and ideas in this article, How to Talk to Children About Juneteenth from Pittsburgh University helpful. Our friends at Little Feminists share this list of the top 5 books to help kids learn more about Juneteenth. 

Learn More Yourself: 

Read more about the history and timely importance of Juneteenth in this article by P.R. Lockhart for Vox or in this course from Khan Academy.  

About Outdoor Afro

Outdoor Afro is an incredible, national organization and network 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.

Connect with Outdoor Afro on social media @outdoorafro to see the network in action!

Why is this activity great for kids?

University of Pittsburgh historian Alaina Roberts explains that, "Juneteenth gave people freedom but it also gave them hope, something they had been longing for for a long time. Telling this particular story offers an opportunity for kids to know how important it was for people who had been treated so badly for so long to begin to experience a whole new way of life, to be truly free, and that’s always something to celebrate." If we want to learn from the past and forge a better future for out children, we grown ups need to remember and honor that change is ongoing and takes time and unending commitment, and that our history includes deeply woeful wrongs. Helping children come to understand as they grow will help them to make sure fewer such wrongs are part of their future.

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