ST. CLOUD – A pair of local organizations are celebrating Juneteenth by inviting community members to take part in a discussion on the concept of unity.

Nonprofits Promise Neighborhood of Central Minnesota and Unitecloud are hosting the event Friday evening at 1114 9th Ave. SE. in St. Cloud, Promise Neighborhood’s headquarters.

Juneteenth is the oldest nationally-celebrated commemoration of the ending of slavery in the United States, dating back to 1865 and observed on June 19.

“Usually, there is a BBQ and event at Riverside Park, but it didn’t happen this year due to COVID,” event organizers said. “As we were talking about what to do (for Juneteenth) we decided to bring the community together around the first principle of Kwanza - Umoja, meaning unity.”

Attendees will be given a chance to answer two questions during an open mic-style discussion

  • What do we need for unity in St. Cloud?
  • What are next steps for unity in St Cloud?

Attendees aren’t obligated to speak, and organizers say all perspectives and voices are welcome.

A spokesperson for Unitecloud says the event was not organized as a response to recent unrest in St. Cloud.

The event will be held from 5:00-6:30 p.m. No RSVP is needed; all ages are welcome. For more information, visit the event’s page on Facebook.