Bree Newsome Bass, Carmen Perez and Bishop Michael B. Curry honored at Healing of the Nations Foundation’s Juneteenth celebration

Photos: Isseu Diouf Campbell

Rev. Dr. James A. Forbes, Jr., Founder of Healing of the Nations Foundation, in association with New York’s historic Carnegie Hall, hosted the 5th Annual Juneteenth celebration commemorating the “COMPLETE” end of slavery in America for people of color on June 19, 2019 at Carnegie Hall, a co-host of the event.

Each year, the event honors individuals who have a commitment to civil rights and have been champions of justice for the oppressed and disenfranchised.  Honorees this year are: Bishop Michael B. Curry, the first African American to serve as presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church; filmmaker, musician and activist Bree Newsome Bass, who climbed the flagpole of the South Carolina State Capitol building and lowered the Confederate Flag and Carmen Perez, National Co-Chair of The Women’s March, and Executive Director of Gathering for Justice – a nonprofit founded by legendary artist and activist Harry Belafonte.

Emmy award winning public affairs journalist Bill Moyers delivered the Statement of the Occasion, and two-time Emmy Award winner, and host of the nationally syndicated weekly talk show “Matter of Fact” Soledad O’Brien was the mistress of ceremony for the evening.   

The program featured stellar performance by jazz pianist, composer, producer and Grammy-award winner Cyrus Chestnut, awarding-winning jazz trombonist Wycliffe Gordon, Broadway and Gospel music composer and music director, Joseph Joubert, The Ebony Ecumenical Ensemble under the leadership of Rev. Eugene Palmore and Pamela Eatman, The Harlem Chamber Players, Fresh 2 Life Drummers and the Juneteenth Mass Choir, conducted by Mark Miller.

This year marks the 154th year of African American freedom (1865) and the abolishment of the stain of human bondage in America.  It also represents the dawn of a new freedom for all Americans in the United

States of America.  This momentous occasion also observed the 400th anniversary of the first African arriving in the United States in 1619.