CREC Project News and Updates

What Juneteenth Means to Me

June 19, 2024

by Cameron Njomo

Today recognizes and acknowledges the independence of enslaved African Americans in the United States. 159 years ago on June 19th, union troops freed 250,000 enslaved black people in Galveston Bay, Texas, by executive decree. This event deemed the official end of all legitimized slavery in former confederate states.

Juneteenth means a lot to me, as I consider this to be a Black Independence Day in the United States. While my parents are American immigrants from Cameroon, they are immigrants of the Black American experience as well. Juneteenth is a time of remembrance of Black history, as well celebration of today’s cultural progress of Black people in the United States.

Importantly, Juneteenth is also a call to action towards the future. Even after the emancipation of enslaved people, the Black experience in the United States, was and continues to be, faced with systemic dysfunction that can ultimately undermine all citizens. While certainly great progress has been made for Black Americans since 1865, there is much more work to do in dismantling the systems that continues to haunt our country.

Our work at CREC equips regional communities with the knowledge and tools to foster economic prosperity and build resilience against systemic dysfunction that keeps citizens in cycles of poverty among many other roadblocks. Let us take the time today to reflect on what has been achieved so far and explore how far Black Americans and, indeed all Americans, can go when we work together for peace and justice for everyone.

Cameron Njomo graduated from George Mason University with a Master of Public Administration degree, concentrating on nonprofit management, and joins the CREC as a Research Analyst. Coming from a background in human services, his interest in research grew after analyzing the fiscal realities of local nonprofits after the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic lockdowns. Mr. Njomo’s responsibilities include updating the State expenditures database, assisting with the development of the CEDS-State strategic plan matrix, and involvement with work regarding the Carolina Cyber Network Project.  Outside of duties, He can be found drawing and discovering new music in his spare time.