Join us as we celebrate all month long in June! There's so much to celebrate!
With the world and national scene being filled with much heavy news, we thought it would be a good time to shine a spotlight on the things we have to celebrate. Not only is June the first month of summer, it affords us significant events and dates where we can spread joy and warmth in our community.
To start off, FGT wishes our LGBTQIA+ community a Happy Pride Month! This month we had the opportunity to participate in an allyship workshop from [email protected] and look at ways we can take strides toward uplifting and strengthening our LGBTQIA+ community. As an organization, we reflected on the ways cisgender and heterosexual individuals and those in straight passing relationships experience privilege in our world. In doing this work, we discovered new ways in which our staff members with this privilege can move it into action to become better allies for our LGBTQ+ community members.”. While there isn’t a cookie-cutter way to be an LGBTQIA+ ally, doing so requires building awareness and education, getting uncomfortable, learning from mistakes, advocating, and taking action.
We’re excited to have a team member supporting the Trevor Project for the 51 Mile Pride Ride this month. This life-saving organization is the world’s largest suicide prevention and crisis intervention organization for LGBTQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, and Questioning) young people. We’d also like to amplify the work of local organizations here in the Bay Area that support LGBTIQA+ Youth:
- The LGBTQ Youth Space, San Jose: @thelgbtqyouthspace
- Sacramento LGBT Community Center’s Q-Spot Youth Programs: @sacqspot
We thank these organizations for the work they do in advocating for LGBTQIA+ kids, celebrating their beauty, and helping them grow to their potential!
This month we also had the privilege of attending a Juneteenth tour with Unexpected Virtual Tours. During this team-building experience, we were able to expand our understanding of the history of this important holiday through vivid storytelling by our hosts. Juneteenth, declared a National Holiday by President Joe Biden on June 17, 2021, commemorates the emancipation of enslaved African-Americans in the United States.
We joined knowledgeable and animated guides Kristin, Jen, Joy, and Chelsey and traveled virtually through time and space to learn about the history of this holiday, including stories about heroes John Brown and Harriet Tubman. With our guide Joy, we were able to get a live glimpse of Fort Monroe in Hampton, Virginia, the site of the first arrival of enslaved Africans in North America in 1619. This fortress later served as a location where freedom seekers could find safe haven during the American Civil War. She then jetted across town to bring us a live view of the Emancipation Oak tree, telling us the story of the site where Mary Peake set up the first school where emancipated slaves could get an education.
Through the lens of our guide Chelsey’s camera, we got an up-close view of the Texas African American History Memorial in Austin, TX, adorned with the word “Emancipation.” We were educated about the role enslaved Black chefs had in creating barbecue culture in this country, and the significance of red foods such as red velvet cake, paprika, and watermelon to the celebration. We learned that the red-hued Hibiscus tea is a traditional drink in West Africa and that the color red symbolizes the hardships overcome, and the blood shed by millions of enslaved people who suffered and died before they could see freedom. Our guides also taught us about the important role Black women had as entrepreneurs selling crops in the years following their release from slavery. We’re grateful for the opportunity to spend an hour learning more about this important holiday and the history behind it!
This Monday, we will pause as an organization to commemorate Juneteenth which falls on a Sunday this year. With our curiosity stoked to learn more and work towards better understanding and allyship, we are inspired to celebrate Black heroes and culture and to take time to listen to more stories of bravery, struggle, and ingenuity, as well as hopefully enjoy some BBQ!
We’d be remiss if we didn’t also wish all the dad figures out there a Happy Father’s Day!
Thank you to the Dads out there who are changing diapers, helping with homework, imparting their wisdom, sharing hobbies, coming over and fixing our cars or homes (or teaching us to DIY!), and all the while telling the best and corniest dad jokes. We love you and appreciate you!