Juneteenth Parade: #SolidarityNotSolitary

Join the Human Rights Coalition for our Juneteenth Parade to celebrate the abolition of slavery, and to grow our new abolitionist movement! We’ll Parade down Fairmount Ave, Rally with speakers and live performances at Eastern State Penitentiary, and end with a Community Picnic in Fairmount Park to celebrate the growing movement to abolish solitary confinement, life without parole, mass incarceration, and every form of slavery that still exists today!

Juneteenth is the oldest known celebration of the abolition of slavery in the United States! It dates back to June 19, 1865 (2½ years after the Emancipation Proclamation) when the last group of enslaved people in Galveston, TX gained their freedom. That same year, Congress ratified the 13th Amendment, abolishing one form of slavery, and creating another. “Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States…”
The Emancipation Proclamation and the 13th Amendment may have ended one form of slavery, but they also laid the foundation for a new kind of prison slavery. 

This year, we will take our parade through the streets to celebrate freedom, and demand an end to an especially inhumane, violent, and isolating form of modern-day slavery: Solitary Confinement. The practice of long-term solitary confinement was pioneered in Philadelphia at Eastern State Penitentiary (ESP) in 1821, by Quakers seeking to make criminals penitent by locking them in permanent isolation. The practice of Solitary Confinement was also abolished at ESP in 1913 after it was considered too damaging to the human mind, body, and spirit. Eastern State Penitentiary now stands as a ruin, an empty prison, and a museum to the barbaric practices of the past. We won’t rest until solitary is abolished everywhere, the whole prison system is in ruins, and all our people are free!

We invite all people and organizations to heed the call for human rights, real justice, and a movement for the abolition of modern-day slavery. We need your help! We need marchers, dancers, drumlines, speakers, and organizers making noise about their causes! Let us know if you or your organization is interested in building a float, giving a speech, leading us in song, or helping with any other aspect of the planning and preparation for the Parade, Rally and Community Picnic. Thank you! See you in the streets on Juneteenth!

Help us amplify the voices and stories of incarcerated people and their loved ones who are surviving and resisting the prison system. Share our event and use these hashtags:

#YouAreNotAlone - Post a picture yourself and your loved one in prison.
#SolidarityNotSolitary - Post a picture and text about a story where solidarity and unity between people from different backgrounds helped someone get out of solitary, or out of prison entirely!