We believe reunions have the power to nourish and strengthen families of all races and ethnicities. Reunions can encourage healthy extended family relationships, provide a sense of belonging, restore family pride, nurture and respect all generations, and impart wisdom, knowledge and a shared purpose. Our goal is to strengthen, inspire and support family reunion planning; share useful information and resources; and advocate for the teaching of family and reunion history, values and experiences.
Planning a family reunion? Click below for tips on:
Our family wants to plan a one-day, in-person reunion this year for anyone who feels comfortable enough to attend, even though Covid isn’t completely over, and we’re not sure how many family members have been vaccinated. What activities would you consider safe enough to enjoy this year?
U.S. President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris signed a bill into law on Thursday, June 17, to make June 19th a federal holiday commemorating the emancipation of enslaved Black Americans. The bill, which was passed overwhelmingly by the U.S. House of Representatives on Wednesday after clearing the Senate unanimously, marks the day in 1865 when a Union general informed a group of enslaved people in Texas that they had been made free two years earlier by President Abraham Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation during the Civil War.
As the White House pushes to address the country’s historical injustices, we must stay vigilant. There is still much to do before Black Lives Matter is a reality for all of us. President Biden noted, “The truth is, it’s not…enough just to commemorate Juneteenth. After all, the emancipation of enslaved Black Americans didn’t mark the end of America’s work to deliver on the promise of equality; it only marked the beginning.” And journalist Monique Judge articulated the moment eloquently when she wrote: “Imagine making Juneteenth a federal holiday when laws are being enacted all over the country that will prevent people from being taught why it’s a holiday.”
When celebrating Juneteenth with your family, include oral stories or readings of the history of your ancestors.
June is the month for dads, grads, and summer fun (including family reunions). And this year is shaping up to be more accommodating towards celebrations than last year. Dads are an important part of our family structure—all year long. And while they often get shortchanged on gifts, cards and time with the kids, let’s do our best not to take them for granted. Let’s embrace, encourage, enjoy, and show them much love. (And if your own dad is not around to be the recipient of our expressions of love, search out another family dad, particularly elders. I’m sure they’d appreciate the extra attention.)
The month of June is significant not only because of Father’s Day on June 20th, but for Juneteenth, (also known as Juneteenth Independence Day or Freedom Day), an American holiday that commemorates the June 19, 1865 announcement of the abolition of slavery. Loving Day, an annual celebration held on June 12th, the anniversary of the 1967 United States Supreme Court decision Loving v. Virginia which struck down all anti-miscegenation laws remaining in sixteen U.S. states. And World Refugee Day, June 20, identified by the United Nations to raise public awareness about refugee's situations throughout the world.
June is also the month for the Army’s Birthday, National SAFE Day, Let It Go Day, Forgiveness Day, Say Something Nice Day, Hug Holiday, Make Life Beautiful Day, Sauntering Day (meaning: slow down and take it easy), World Environment Day, World Oceans Day, Nature Photography Day, National Nursing Assistants Week, Men’s Health Week, Community Health Improvement Week, National Garden Week, National Play Catch Week, Great Outdoors Month, along with so much more.
This June is starting out to be a month of getting back to “normal”. Here’s hoping you and your family are able to spend more time together celebrating family dads. We hope 2021 grads are able to celebrate their accomplishments by donning caps and gowns and walking down aisles. And we’re hopeful we all get to spend a plentiful amount of time with family, at reunions, and having fun. Let’s continue to be safe until we’re sure that all those we come in contact with have been vaccinated. So don’t forget your masks, social distancing, or washing your hands. Be safe. Stay well. And enjoy the Summer.
· Practical Family Reunion Planning
· Reunion Tip of the Month
· Family Time
· Worth Repeating for Grads
· Father’s Day Poem: Perfect Dad Blend
· Graduation Poem: Always be a Student
LATER THIS MONTH:
· Sticky Reunion Situation
· ICYMI (In Case You Missed It)
Family Reunion Planning isn’t just about the date, venue, activities and food. It should also include getting to know the family. It’s interesting that we find out so much about relatives while reading their obituaries, and that our repasses are full of conversations about what we didn’t know, and what we would have done, or said, or asked had we known. One thing we can do during reunions (and during reunion planning) is find out more about our family members while they are here to answer questions. Their responses can be encouraging to others, especially family youth.
How many family members have served in the Armed services? How many are school teachers, principals, counselors, tutors? How many work for the government—and in what capacity? How many handymen, gardeners, farmers, poets, nurses, doctors, lawyers, tutors, mentors, cooks, bakers, entrepreneurs, gamers? How many went to college, what schools did they attend, did they pledge? Make your family reunion more than just a picnic, with basic chit-chat and gossip. Find out who you all are, and what you have in common. Every family member has a story to tell. All we have to do is ask to find out.
Do you know what you have in common with your dad? Do you know what the dads in your family have in common with each other? Use this month to ask questions and get answers about your family dads. Find out how much you are like your dad, and how much he is like the other family dads. Ask questions about their favorite time of year, color, food, book; childhood memories and family traditions; favorite school activities, subject and hang-out spot growing up; best and worst job; what they’re most proud of; their biggest fear; if they could get a “life do-over” what would they change, etc.
Ask family members to interview their dads and send responses to a designated family member who can put all the information together for sharing with the whole family. And don’t forget to take pics!
Looking for something creative, different, and fun to do with the family this month? Want to spend more time together? Check out our selected list of June observances for your family to celebrate, explore, and enjoy…together!
In 2020 our family got involved in the BLM protests and we mobilized our family members to make sure they registered and voted in the November 2020 election. A lot of the mobilization was done during the reunion planning (we were virtual last year). Do you have any suggestions on what we can do this year to make sure the family continues to stay involved?
WORTH REPEATING...for Graduates
“To those of you who received honors, awards and distinctions, I say well done. And to the C students, I say you too may one day be president of the United States.”
—George W. Bush
“The beautiful thing about learning is that no one can take it away from you.” —B.B. King
“Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.”
“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life.”
Perfect Dad Blend
I am glad you're my father, you're really the best,
As a dad, you're a fine one, I'm so very blessed.
You're smart, and you're strong, just a perfect dad blend,
You're my father, my counselor, and a really good friend.
- Joanna Fuchs
Always Be A Student
Keep on learning, though your graduation's done,
Your whole life's an education, that has only just begun.
Your diploma is the first big step, for knowledge is the special key,
To winning what you want in life, and being who you want to be.
If you'll always be a student, you'll find the secrets to success,
And travel on the golden road, to peace and happiness.
- Joanna Fuchs