Bahai News - Unity 2000 Convention promotes empowerment Friday, August 25, 2000

News from Ontario in the Times Community Newspapers

Unity 2000 Convention promotes empowerment

Event, which includes many free workshops and seminars, serves as national meeting for Juneteenth organizations.
By PAM NOLES

     ONTARIO -- About 2,000 people from all over the country are expected to participate this weekend in the 3rd annual Unity 2000 Convention/Expo and Career Symposium at the Ontario Convention Center, a gathering of professionals and activists dedicated to promoting economic empowerment in the black community.
     The event, free and open to the public, runs Saturday and Sunday. A gala awards ceremony will be tonight. The convention was created by Juneteenth America Inc. It also serves as the national convention for the Juneteenth organization.
     "This event is an ongoing convention to bring all the Juneteenth organizations across the nation together as well as communities," said Trudy Coleman, co-founder of the local Juneteenth chapter. "We wanted to have a venue where people can come together and share ideas. A lot of people have not been able to obtain this American dream. This is an outreach to them."
     Juneteenth celebrates the day Texas slaves were told they had been emancipated. It began in Galveston on June 19, 1865, when Union forces led by Gen. Gordon Granger came to town and informed the slaves the Civil War was over. Even though Granger arrived 2 1/2 years after the Emancipation Proclamation had gone into effect, Texas slaves had never been told about it. The spontaneous celebrations that broke out eventually became a nationwide, annual event.
     This national conference is being held in August, rather than on the actual Juneteenth date earlier this summer, primarily because of major celebrations in Washington, D.C., that would have kept many of the major Juneteenth participants away.
     "We are excited about this upcoming event," said John Thompson, CEO and founder of the local chapter.
     This weekend's events include a career expo, workshops on topics ranging from buying a home to writing a book, relationship issues and sports clinics. A variety of gospel, poetry and other musical performances are also planned.
     Today's awards ceremony, themed "Honoring the Emancipated Women," will feature many political figures, activists and celebrities. State Sen. Nell Soto (D-Pomona), lawyer Gloria Allred and Barbara Calhoun, president of Local 347, AFL-CIO, are among honorees. Other prominent guests include Dr. Ronald V. Myers, founder of the National Juneteenth Observance Foundation, and T'Keyah Crystal Keymah, an actress on "The Cosby Show."
     
* * *

     What: 3rd annual Unity 2000 Convention/Expo and Career Symposium
     Where: Ontario Convention Center
     When: Saturday and Sunday
     Cost: Free
     For information: 947-4346
     Workshops and seminars are free, but seating for each is limited. Organizers suggest you arrive early to sign up.
     Opening ceremonies will be 9:30-10 a.m. Saturday. A prayer service will be at 10 a.m. Sunday.
     There will be entertainment throughout the day in the Mayoral Ballroom.
     SATURDAY WORKSHOPS
     10-11:30 a.m.
     * Black Writers on Tour: How to Publish Your Book
     * Conflict Resolution
     * Black Man's Guide to Commitment
     * Government Home Loans (runs until 1 p.m.)
     1-2:30 p.m.
     * Baseball Clinic
     * Guarding Your Family's Present and Future
     * New Life Deliverance Ministries
     * Juneteenth and the Congressional Apology for Slavery
     3-4 p.m.
     * E-Commerce
     * Relationships
     * How to Drastically Cut Thousands of Dollars off Your Taxes
     SUNDAY WORKSHOPS
     11 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
     * Bahai Faith: Valuing Diversity
     * How to Publish Your Book
     * Black Man's Guide to Commitment
     * What's Important: Significance or Success?
     1-2:30 p.m.
     * Bahai Faith: Institute for the Healing of Racism
     * The Discipline of Goal Setting
     * Free Baseball Clinic
     3-4:30 p.m.
     * How to Drastically Cut Thousands of Dollars off Your Taxes
     * Relationships
     * Sense of Self-Worth
     4:30-6 p.m.
     * Legislative Strategies for Establishing Juneteenth Holidays in Your State


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