“To bring all Americans together to celebrate our common bond of freedom through the recognition, education, observance and historical preservation of Juneteenth in America.”
- Rev. Dr. Ron Myers, Sr. NJOF Founder
The JPCI works to support, encourage, and perpetuate cultural awareness of our ancestors, community revitalization, health and educational issues, leadership and economic development by means of educational seminars, cultural events, school presentations, festivals, theatrical performances and community meetings.
They enable cities, college campuses and companies to increase innovation, recruit top-notch talent and better connect with neighbors as well as customers, to name a few. All JPCI events and programs have always been FREE and open to the public!
Our expected results have no "achieved" time as an end result. Education and personal growth are lifelong objectives. It's our like passions to serve and educate that drives and motivates us. Having workable and successful partnerships, the joy of seeing satisfied crowds, seeing the "lights come on" when someone has "ah-ha" moments when they understand our messages, history and diversity education, and seeing the smiling faces on children as they run up to you in the mall or on the street and say, "Hey! You’re one of those guys that come to our school and taught us" this or that or "you guys put on the best events!" We strive to be good community servants, partners and role models, all to help the growth, happiness and well-being of others.
Our grassroots efforts are proven effective. The JPCI's matching funds grant from the Walton Foundation for our community outreach and community redevelopment met a need for the Elm Grove Community Center at Martin Luther King, Jr. Park. Fort Smith Public Schools and Public Libraries benefit from our Partners in Education Program entitled Cultural Literacy Initiative Program (C.L.I.P.) The JPCI hosts a Red Carpet Event at the Fort Smith Convention Center that focuses on issues though the ministry of music such as teenage pregnancies, self mutilation & STD's.
Our annual "Freedom and Unity" Celebration is an opportunity to showcase our multicultural history(s) with re-enactments, music, dance and food thanks to partners such as Belle Point Beverages, the US Army and Cox Communications. Because after all, it's all about "Education and Entertainment". This is how we learn to live, work and play together. "Together, we make our community better!"
"Juneteenth" or the "19th of June” is considered the date when slavery ended in America (*although history teaches us otherwise). We strive to educate people of the significance that the African-American race has in the construction and diversity of our great nation, before, during and after the slavery era and the signing of the “Emancipation Proclamation” signed by President Abraham Lincoln in 1863.
Arkansas was the 16th state to recognize Juneteenth as a State Holiday or Observance thanks to the efforts of the JPCI, Senators Wilkins, Steele, Altes and Lincoln. We celebrate the 4th of July and Cinco De Mayo and to help complete our freedom celebrations, we celebrate “America’s 2nd Independence Day”, Juneteenth, a celebration of Freedom & Unity!
The mission of the Juneteenth Planning Commission, Inc. (JPCI) is to provide an opportunity for the region to come together to celebrate our culture and diversity. We believe FREEDOM is our common bond. Music and education help us find common ground to develop deeper understanding of other cultures as well as appreciating our own individual cultures.