By Rosemary Pope
“KEEPING THE FAITH” was this year’s theme for the 16th Annual Juneteenth Celebration at the George L. Stevens Senior Center.
On Friday, June 17th, 200 enthusiastic guests enjoyed tasty dishes and delectable Juneteenth Day foods and witnessed the true meaning of a Juneteenth Day Celebration (Jubilee).
The day started with welcome and congratulatory wishes from the offices of political dignitaries, Mayor Todd Gloria, 4th District Councilmember Monica Montgomery Steppe, and 79th State Assembly member Dr. Akilah Weber,
There were an abundance of information and resource table displays on health and wellness, with free health screenings conducted by Samantha Williams R.N. with JIREH PROVIDERS (Joint Initiative For Racial Equity In Health).
Additionally, stellar entertainment was provided by Ancestral Storyteller Queen Alyce Smith Cooper, Rev. Ronald Edwards Sr., Goddess of Gospel & Inspirational Music Toot Bell, San Diego’s favorite DJ John Phillips, Larry Streaty B-3 Four Band featuring Rebecca Jade, Comedian Kree Rushing, a dramatic stage production of “Sucker Punched” from the Old Globe’s COLAB workshop, David Dredden & the Undefeated contemporary Gospel Choir, Def Sound Poetry, and Neo-Soul Singer Brittany Taylor.
Gil Sotu, Director of Old Globe’s COLAB Workshop, served as MC. He kept the audience engaged, jubilant, and on their feet.
Co-sponsors of this well attended event were The Old Globe, Kaiser Permanente Senior Advantage, AARP California, Mr. Winston Sloan, Ms. Shirley Cooper, and S.W.A.G. (Single Widowed Adult Group).
Rosemary Pope, Executive Director of FDSRC, summed up the whole historical, fun-filled, spiritual, and uplifting day by stating: “All the time, energy, effort, and preparation my Volunteer staff and I gave was truly a labor of love. It is most gratifying and rewarding to see guests arriving and leaving this event with broad smiles, nods of approval, and thumbs up. These are all indicators that this Juneteenth Day Celebration was most successful and memorable. We will continue keeping the FAITH.”