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    Juneteenth is a significant day that marks the end of slavery in the United States. Although the Emancipation Proclamation officially freed slaves on January 1, 1863, it took more than two years for the news to reach those who were enslaved in Texas, finally arriving on June 19, 1865.

    Today, June 19 is recognized as a federal holiday, providing an opportunity for everyone to honor and celebrate this historic event, regardless of their skin color.

    Here are four ways to celebrate Juneteenth:

    Explore and Learn. 

    Take the time to educate yourself about the history of slavery in the United States and its lasting impact on Black Americans. The National Museum of African American History and Culture is an excellent resource to start with, offering online access to collections, exhibits, and even an interactive Juneteenth tour. Consider visiting your local library to discover recommended books on slavery or explore if there are African American museums in your community.

    Support Relevant Causes.

    Make a difference on Juneteenth by supporting organizations and nonprofits that advocate for civil rights and equality. Consider donating to well-established groups like the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), or the National Black Child Development Institute. Additionally, you can contribute to research centers, museums, and libraries that focus on preserving and sharing Black history, such as the National Museum of African American History and Culture, the International African American Museum, or the Amistad Research Center.

    Empower Black-owned Businesses!

    On Juneteenth, show your support for local Black-owned businesses by diverting your purchases from larger corporations and shopping at these establishments instead. Explore the diverse range of products and services available at Black-owned shops and online stores, including beauty products, books, and fitness-related items. Another way to uplift the community is by following and engaging with Black content creators and journalists on various online platforms.

    Here is a list of 198 Black-owned businesses you can support today.

    Engage in Juneteenth Events.

    Many communities organize Juneteenth celebrations, providing opportunities to learn about local Black causes, support organizations, and connect with nonprofits and other community groups. Attend these events to gain a deeper understanding of the significance of Juneteenth and to show solidarity with the Black community. If physical events are not accessible, consider participating in virtual gatherings , which typically run from June 14 to June 19.

    Dreaming of Homeownership?

    The Wider Path Home Foundation, inspired by the vision of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and his famous “I Have a Dream” speech, is an organization dedicated to improving access to housing for Black and other minority populations across the United States.

    Founded by members of Embrace Home Loans®, a company committed to helping individuals achieve their homeownership dreams, the foundation offers valuable resources such as down payment assistance and financial education. If you have plans to buy a house or refinance your mortgage this June, reach out to an Embrace Home Loans officer in your area to learn more about the Wider Path Home Foundation and the support they provide in building wealth through homeownership.                                        

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