IJC Mission Statement:

To Ensure that everyone has equitable access to economic, political, and social empowerment opportunities. WE aim to address barriers while improving access and opportunities for all focusing on those in hard to serve and underrepresented areas being the impetus to equitable social justice. Illinois Juneteenth (Statewide) Committee will give justice to the weak while maintaining and advocating for the marginalized, stigmatized, and underserviced.

Illinois Juneteenth Committee places high value on the sacred worth of all Committee Members and Illinois residents. To achieve our mission, IJC engages diverse members across Illinois and The United States in meaningful discussions and activities promoting sustained positive relationships among all persons inclusive of race/ethnicity, gender, religion, social class, and sexuality.

Illinois Juneteenth Committee sponsors various activities throughout the year sparking opportunity for dialogue, workshops, speakers, a book club, events, educational opportunities, much more such as sessions about diversity, inclusion, social justice, and equity for the public.



CDSS-ESL), the flagship brand within the NFP portfolio, was founded in, Illinois in 2010, and acquired its 501c3 status in 2012. Today, CDSS-ESL is recognized for its exemplary efforts to confront structural racism and other roadblocks that lead to crime and violence in underserved communities, COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT SUSTAINABLE SOLUTIONS earned an IL Proclamation as State Pillars of Excellence on Juneteenth 2017 by State Representative LaToya Greenwood, Illinois 114th District. CDSS-ESL Programs and events are listed as some of the best across Illinois. This long, rich heritage of advocacy and innovation in community development with equitable and sustainable solutions, and a close, enduring association with All Things Juneteenth continue to define our mission as THE ILLINOIS JUNETEENTH COMMITTEE, (IJC), brand identity. Always in motion towards sustainable solutions we can “ALL” live with, CDSS became founding fiscal agent of ILLINOIS JUNETEENTH COMMITTEE!


The JUNETEENTH PLANNING COMMITTEE in Forest Park has organized an annual family pool party since 2008 to recognize and celebrate Juneteenth. Organized by local residents, history lovers, and local advocates, the Juneteenth Family Pool Party was inspired by Forest Park Mayor Rory Hoskins, a native of Galveston, Texas and a Juneteenth historian, advocate and enthusiast. Throughout the years, the pool party has evolved into a much anticipated end-of the-school-year tradition and a component of the local school district’s racial equity work. Many in Forest Park and the surrounding suburbs of Cook County have recognized the significance of Juneteenth in American History. The annual Forest Park Juneteenth Family Pool Party is regularly attended by local elected officials and has influenced celebrations in neighboring communities including Oak Park and Maywood, where public and private entities now hold Juneteenth events. In 2020, the Forest Park Planning Committee Co-Chairs became founding members of the Illinois Juneteenth Planning Committee.


IJC is The OFFICIAL ILLINOIS BRANCH OF NATIONAL JUNETEENTH OBSERVANCE FOUNDATION, (NJOF), and are recognized statewide subject matter experts for “ALL THINGS JUNETEENTH.” As National and State level Juneteenth Day of Observance advocates since 2011, this committee continues to host, educate, and advocate across Illinois and regionally for more than 22 years combined. IJC spans from Chicago and Suburban Cook County to East St. Louis, St. Clair Co. and Southern IL and beyond. To support the statewide effort to make Juneteenth a state holiday in Illinois, IJC held its inaugural meeting in July 2020 and is the consummate resource for #ALLThingsJuneteenth. 

NJOF, IJC, JUNETEENTH-METRO EAST, and WHATISJUNETEENTH, are the official communication hubs for Juneteenth news and updates in Illinois and across the country. IJC has hosted several virtual Juneteenth events since its formation as part of our Reimagining Freedom series including conversations with IL State Senator Kimberly Lightford, Mayor Rory Hoskins, Steve Williams (NJOF President), Dee Evans (NJOF Vice Chair), and Civil Rights Activist and Educator Ms. Opal Lee, the “Grandmother of Juneteenth.” IJC is committed to awakening the spirit and igniting passion of all Illinoisans to help our nation keep its promise of freedom for all.  IJC is recognized for its inherent quality, distinctive image, and unwavering advocacy across The State of Illinois. Collectively, we awaken the spirit and ignite passion for positive change built upon our inherent commitment to spur our great nation to keep its promise of freedom and equality across Illinois and The United States.

NJOF late Founding President, Ronald ”Doc” Meyers, a Chicago native, began working with Sen. Durbin, a St. Clair Co. native in 2009. IJC continues the statewide legacy of his Juneteenth advocacy work today. From Forest Park's Mayor, Rory Hoskins and Cook Co.'s Senator Lightford, Sponsor of SB1965 to Chief Co-Sponsor, Senator Christopher Belt, a Cahokia Hts. and St. Clair Co. native and State Representative LaToya Greenwood an East St. Louis St. Clair Co. native. Senate Bill 1965 amends the State Commemorative Dates Act and provides that Juneteenth “National Freedom Day” be observed as a state holiday in Illinois. Through teamwork,

In April 2020, SB1965 passed the IL Senate with overwhelming support and is pending in the IL House. Through our advocacy and teamwork, IJC has offered testimony and witness slips in support of SB 1965. On June 19th, 2020, St. Clair County became the 1st County in IL to declared Juneteenth an official holiday. December 2020, Cook County became the largest county in the US to make Juneteenth a paid holiday for government employees.


Be recognized as part of a grassroots movement - Post your event; Celebrate with us!!

Find Juneteenth Events in Illinois

Visit Juneteenth- Metro East/Southern IL on Facebook

Juneteenth-Metro East Webpage

Visit Forest Park Against Racism (FPAR) on Facebook

WhatIsJuneteenth Website


Your support and actions make the difference. Start by attending our IJC meetings. 



Donate, write, volunteer — let your voice be heard!

Click Here

Take Action

Change lives together with your community members.



    Protecting Rights, Saving Lives

    With your help, human rights can be enjoyed by all of us. To Donate, Please reach out to CDSS-ESL Exec Director

    Follow our journey on social media: