The Homewood-Flossmoor (HF) Juneteenth Festival organized by You Matter 2 is a celebration of African American culture as expressed through food, music, dance, and arts. Our mission is to provide an environment that celebrates and showcases the uniqueness, power, and endurance of African Americans.
Our vision is to have a community that is more knowledgeable and motivated to preserve our cultural heritage. To increase awareness and promote Black Businesses in the Chicago Southland. We would also like to attract potential residents and business owners by highlighting the diversity and sense of community in our neighborhood.
Creator & Chairperson, Destiny Watson
Co-Chairperson, Tamika Britten
Lead Event Producer, K. Carlton
Sherri Crowder | Charles Mathis
Ciaria Hicks | Shawn Moton
Finance, Christopher Britten
Rainn Darring II | Paul Kramer
Jetoun Brown | Jayla Rounds
Production & Logistics
Opal Ray Powell | Laquisha Fowlkes
Royal Court, Samira Barnes-Evans
Mya Gamble | Kristen Clark | Precious Claytor
Janine Thompson | Kevin Bradford | Danielle Callahan
Damita Stephens | Divinity Stephens | Kyla Gordon
What is Juneteenth?
Juneteenth (short for “June Nineteenth”) marks the day when federal troops arrived in Galveston, Texas in 1865 to take control of the state and ensure that all enslaved people be freed. The troops’ arrival came a full two and a half years after the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation. Juneteenth honors the end to slavery in the United States and is considered the longest-running African American holiday. On June 17, 2021, it officially became a federal holiday.
In 2020, at the height of racial tension with the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery, the South Suburban communities showed up in droves in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic to express their anger, frustration, and support of the Black community in the forms of protests and vigils. You Matter 2’s Founder & CEO, Destiny Watson, created a plan to continue this activism. With Juneteenth becoming more recognized in 2020, Destiny began organizing the inaugural 2021 Homewood-Flossmoor Juneteenth Festival in an effort to bring the community together to celebrate Black joy, learn about the holiday, and highlight Black-owned Businesses.
Through the support of sponsors and partners like the Village of Flossmoor, Homewood-Flossmoor High School, and K. Carlton Inc., You Matter 2 was able to fully fund and host the historic and first-ever Homewood-Flossmoor Juneteenth Festival with over 2,000 attendees, 83 Black-owned businesses, and 15 entertainers in year one. In the span of a year, the festival has expanded to include a Juneteenth Parade, the first Mr. and Miss Homewood-Flossmoor Juneteenth Royal Court, grown to be the LARGEST Chicago Southland Juneteenth Festival, and has become a staple in the community that will remain for years to come. We are grateful to bring an experience that honors our ancestors, celebrates Black culture, pride, and power, and creates a space for us, by us. We are making history and creating a norm where Black culture is celebrated and it’s evidence that how we’re viewed is not the reality of who we are.
Background of You Matter 2
You Matter 2, founded by Destiny Watson in 2014, is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that provides South Suburban youth and families with opportunities to develop leaders and engage communities through exposure to new experiences, building connections, and highlighting cultural heritage. You Matter 2 serves over 1,000 6th-12th grade students and families annually in two ways: youth development and community engagement. By offering various after-school programs and organizing community initiatives, You Matter 2 is growing to be the leading community and youth-serving nonprofit in the South Suburbs of Chicago.
Make a donation to ensure that this festival happens annually in the Homewood-Flossmoor community.
Homewood-Flossmoor Juneteenth Festival in the News