Juneteenth was recognized as a federal holiday in 2021, but it has been a celebration of African American resilience since the late 1860s. In honor of Juneteenth, we are sharing an event that one of our programs put together this past Black History Month.
Renata Slack is a housing case manager working at Nyer Urness House. She put together an event to celebrate Black History and culture and more than 25 residents from Nyer came out to learn and grow.
“I put this event together because I wanted to celebrate my culture,” Renata said. “I also wanted to use this event to bring staff and residents together. I was surprised by how many residents attended and stayed. We really enjoyed the food and each other’s company.”
There was food, decorations, and camaraderie.
Spoken word artist, Ms. Gail Haynes, was a special guest who did a reading from her book “Soulfoul and Sassy, Reflections and Poems.” Ms. Haynes is also a social service professional and a member of the African American Writers Alliance in Seattle.
Shurvon Haynes was also a guest who created a piece of artwork with the residents inspired by the original essay called “Razzle, Dazzle, Sparkle, Shine!” Shurvon is the Fine Arts Visionary at the Wonderful World of Fine Arts Radio Show with JuVon Designs on Rainier Avenue Radio.
“What keeps me motivated is seeing how showing compassion and love to my residents has such a huge impact,” Renata said. “We build healthy relationships by meeting residents where they’re at. I’m here to support them and making a difference in the lives of our residents brings me and the team joy!”