Bay Terrace will hold Juneteenth BBQ

The Bay Terrace community of residents is coming together to host an outdoor barbecue event on June 18 in celebration of Juneteenth. The public is invited to come and partake in great food, great people, and the unity that makes not only the tenants of Bay Terrace stronger together, but the city as a whole.

“We felt it was important to honor this national holiday of freedom for African-American people of color right here in this community,” said evangelist Sandra Lee, who is the chief organizer. “As a leader and clergy who has sponsored and worked in inner city and community events for years, I feel now is the time to do all we can to help lift and improve our cities. ”

The day starts at 2pm in the courtyard of the Bay Terrace playground. Among the eats on the menu, there will be a program starting around 3:30 with guest public speakers, a youth hula-hoop contest with prizes, a musical performance by Lee singing “My County, ‘Tis of Thee” and special guest rapper Joshua Seals (aka JWLS). At the end there will be a raffle for Bay Terrace tenants only for a chance to win a $50 cash prize.

Joshua Seals aka JWLS will be the featured music performer.

Now working with Communities in Schools as a school coordinator at Arlington Elementary School, Seals is a graduate of the University of Washington-Tacoma, member of Phi Sigma Theta National Honor Society and organized the first UW-Tacoma club sports basketball team. He is a leader throughout Washington and a true humanitarian, bringing rap and the spoken word to schools, colleges, public events and radio stations, among others.

A published artist, Seals has a unique charisma in his performances, writing his own music as he continues to grow in the art of rap and often brings students into his stage shows.

“I feel like if I show kids their God-given talents, they’ll feel like they have talent too,” he said. “This opportunity shows our people and our youth that their lives are valuable and worth a lot.”

Working with Lee is Bay Terrace manager Lacie Ricci; Gary McCurty, Community Builder at Tacoma Housing Authority; and Von-na Chisholm, who hosts craft events and holiday celebrations at Bay Terrace, also designed this year’s flyer.

Bay Terrace Manager Lacie Ricci encourages the Bay Terrace community to organize activities and events for all tenants.

McCurty works at five THA housing properties in the city and encourages residents to get involved to help unify communities with events and activities. The THA provides support and helps cover costs, while the resident is free to present their opportunity for positive engagement as they see fit.

“As a community builder, we go to every property, putting the word out to let residents know that if they’re interested in running any type of activity or event, let us know,” he said. “We support them from the outside. . I sit down and learn a lot by doing it.”

That Juneteenth is about freedom from slavery is as pertinent today as it was when slaves were freed in 1863 after President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation. Only today, being in bondage takes the form of gun violence, gangs, drugs, and the loss of hope in the hearts of young people, especially young people of color.

“People have paid a price with their lives to be free, and it is a flagrant thing to ever be brought into any kind of slavery for any people. What was bought for them to have freedom? It took the blood of their ancestors,” Lee said. “You have the right to freedom and don’t abuse it. Be somebody.”

Lee wants to set an example for kids like she says all adults should.

“We have fought for many years for the safety, education and success of our children. It is vital that we set positive examples for our children as good role models and encourage them that they can succeed even when the going gets tough.

“Instill that ambition in them and tell them they can do it. It takes a team of people who are sold on the cause to make a change, not just to shut our mouths, but also people who are radical enough to go far for justice.”