Program Details
Juneteenth Freedom Songs & Stories

Bring your residents together to celebrate Juneteenth. Juneteenth (officially Juneteenth National Independence Day) is a U.S. federal holiday commemorating the emancipation of enslaved African Americans. It is observed on June 19th, the day in 1865 when Union soldiers arrived in Galveston, Texas, with news that the Civil War had ended and that the enslaved were now free. This was two and a half years after President Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation, which had become official on January 1, 1863.

Residents will gather to celebrate Juneteenth through shared stories, music, and a taste of traditional foods. This activity aims to honor the historical significance of the day while fostering a sense of community and connection.


 Educate: Raise awareness and understanding of Juneteenth's history and importance.

 Engage: Encourage active participation and social interaction among residents.

 Celebrate: Create a joyful and festive atmosphere to commemorate the holiday.

 Reminisce: Provide an opportunity for residents to share personal stories and reflections related to freedom and civil rights.



  • Research: Gather information about Juneteenth, including historical facts, key figures, and cultural traditions.
  • Music: Compile a playlist of traditional spirituals, freedom songs, and other music relevant to Juneteenth.
  • Food: Plan a menu of simple, traditional Juneteenth dishes like watermelon, barbecue, or red velvet cake.
  • Decorations: Decorate the activity space with Juneteenth colors (red, white, and blue), historical images, and symbols of freedom.
  • Invite:  Extend invitations to residents, staff, and family members. Consider inviting a guest speaker knowledgeable about Juneteenth.

2. Setup:

  • Arrange comfortable seating in a circle or semi-circle.
  • Set up audio equipment for playing music.
  • Prepare food and beverages for serving.

3. Assistance:

  • Staff members should be present to assist residents with mobility, seating, and any other needs.
  • Encourage conversation and facilitate discussion throughout the activity.
  • Help residents connect their own experiences to the broader historical context.

4. Closure:

  • Conclude the activity with a group singing of a freedom song or a moment of reflection.
  • Thank participants for their contributions and invite them to enjoy the refreshments.
Staffing Requirements
  • Activity Coordinator: To lead the discussion, facilitate activities, and manage the event.
  • Additional Staff: To assist residents with mobility, setup, and serving refreshments.
  • Guest Speaker (Optional): To provide historical context and share expertise.

  •  Historical information about Juneteenth
  •  Music playlist (e.g., "Swing Low, Sweet Chariot," "Lift Every Voice and Sing")
  •  Food and beverages (e.g., watermelon, barbecue, red velvet cake, lemonade)
  •  Decorations (e.g., red, white, and blue streamers, historical photos)
  •  Audio equipment
  •  Comfortable seating
  •  Table and linens for serving refreshments
  • Emotional sensitivity: Some residents may have personal experiences related to racial injustice or discrimination. Be prepared to offer support and empathy.
  • Dietary restrictions: Ensure food options accommodate residents with allergies or dietary needs.
Expected Outcomes
  • Increased knowledge and understanding of Juneteenth.
  • A sense of community and shared celebration among residents.
  • Opportunities for personal reflection and connection.
  • A joyful and engaging experience commemorating a significant historical event.
Program Type
Level of Care
Assisted Living
Independent Living
Dimension of Wellness
Singing, Storytelling, History