Press Release: Oregon Juneteenth Jazz & Heritage Concert


Contact: Rev. Ronald V. Myers, Sr., M.D., Founder & Chairman
             National Juneteenth Observance Foundation (NJOF)
             662-392-2016    662-247-1471
             web sites:

             Doris Rush, President
             Portland Juneteenth Celebration
             Juneteenth Oregon, Inc.

             web site:

Clara Peoples
Clara Peoples

Ron Steen
Ron Steen

Ron Myers
Rev. Ronald V. Myers, Sr., M.D.

2011 Oregon Juneteenth Jazz & Heritage Concert

Portland's Clara Peoples Honored as the "Mother of Juneteenth"

Portland's Ron Steen Honored with Juneteenth Jazz
Lifetime Acheivement Award

(Portland, Oregon) - Portland's Clara Peoples will receive national recognition as the historic "Mother of Juneteenth" at the 2011 Oregon Juneteenth Jazz & Heritage Concert, on Tuesday, October 25th, at the Red Lion Hotel Portland Convention Center, 1021 N.E. Grand Avenue, beginning at 6:00pm. The Rev. Ronald V. Myers, Sr., M.D., Founder & Chairman of the National Juneteenth Observance Foundation (NJOF), will be presenting the most distinguished award ever given in the history of the "Modern Juneteenth Movement" in America.

The presentation will be followed by a Juneteenth Jazz concert featuring Dr. Myers. Peoples is a former board member of the NJOF and has been a champion for Juneteenth since organizing her historic first Portland Juneteenth Celebration in 1942.

Juneteenth, or the "19th of June", recognizes June 19, 1865, in Galveston, TX, when Union General Gordon Granger announced freedom for all slaves in the Southwest. Texas was the last state where slavery was allowed. following the end of the Civil War. This occurred more than two and a half years after the Emancipation Proclamation was issued by President Abraham Lincoln. Upon the reading of General Order #3 by General Granger, the former slaves celebrated jubilantly, establishing America's second Independence Day Celebration and the oldest African American holiday observance.

Juneteenth is now recognized as a state holiday or state holiday observance in 39 states and the District of Columbia. Senator Jeff Merkley (D-OR), co-sponsored legislation to recognize "Juneteenth Independence Day" in the U.S. Senate for the seventh time in 2011.

"Oregon became the 8th state to recognize Juneteenth as a state holiday observance," states Doris Rush, President of Juneteenth Oregon and State Director of the NJOF. "The legislation was sponsored by State Senator Avel Louise Gordley in 2001."

Thousands of petitions have been forwarded to the White House urging President Barack Obama to make Juneteenth Independence Day a National Day of Observance, like Flag Day or Patriot Day and to establish a Presidential National Juneteenth Commission.

"The official recognition of Juneteenth Independence Day and the end of enslavement by state governments and congress are very significant steps in bringing healing to America from the legacy of enslavement," states Rev. Dr. Myers, also the Founder and Director of the National Juneteenth Christian Leadership Council (NJCLC) and the World Day of Reconciliation & Healing From the Legacy of Enslavement. "Clara Peoples played a significant role in supporting the National Day of Reconciliation and Healing From the Legacy of Enslavement during the 2001 WASHINGTON JUNETEENTH National Holiday Observance."

Also honored will be Portland native and legendary jazz drummer Ron Steen. Steen will receive the prestigious Juneteenth Jazz Lifetime Acheivement Award.

As the National Juneteenth Jazz Artist, minister, physician and jazz musician, Rev. Ronald V. Myers, Sr., M.D., performs across the country promoting "June Is Black Music Month!" - CELEBRATING JUNETEENTH JAZZ - "Preserving Our African American Jazz Legacy!" Founder of the National Association of Juneteenth Jazz Presenters (NAJJP), Myers also conducts youth jazz workshops and lectures on African American jazz legacy. The NAJJP is the sponsor of several Juneteenth Jazz Legacy Concerts and African American Art Exhibits during Black Music Month, including the historic African-American jazz legacy cities of Kansas City, MO and Omaha, NB.

Tickets to the concert are $20.00 in advance and $25.00 at the door. Proceeds from the event will benefit the NJOF Scholarship Fund in honor of Clara Peoples.

For more information contact Doris Rush of Juneteenth Oregon at 503-764-8836 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 503-764-8836 end_of_the_skype_highlighting; e-mail: or web site:, also Dr. Myers at 662-392-2016 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 662-392-2016 end_of_the_skype_highlighting or 662-247-1471 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 662-247-1471 end_of_the_skype_highlighting, e-mail: or web site:

June is Juneteenth African American Jazz Legacy Month!

For information about the NAJJP contact Dr. Myers at 662-247-3364, 662-247-1471, e-mail - or web site -


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