Brooklyn Boro

Juneteenth event in Cadman Plaza Park boosts Black businesses

Lyft joins group of sponsors, led by Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce

June 16, 2021 Brooklyn Eagle Staff
Cadman Plaza Park, on Tuesday. Photo: Mary Frost/ Brooklyn Eagle
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The Cadman Park Conservancy, the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce and Lyft are partnering for a Juneteenth celebration on Saturday, June 19 from noon to 4 p.m. at the new “Juneteenth Grove” at Cadman Plaza Park to support Black-owned businesses. 

The event will feature remarks by well-known public officials, including Attorney General Letitia James; State Sen. Brian Benjamin;  City Council Members Robert Cornegy and Farah N. Louis; and Kings County Civil Court Judge Dweynie Paul. 

Attendees will also be eligible for free ride credits to Cadman Plaza Park, courtesy of Lyft.

“The Cadman Park Conservancy is proud to host the first-ever Cadman Plaza Park Juneteenth Festival,” said Doreen Gallo, president of the conservancy’s board. 

“Cadman Park, which is centrally located in Downtown Brooklyn, has served as a community hub during the social justice movement in New York City. This Juneteenth, we will celebrate Brooklyn’s economic diversity by embracing Black-owned businesses, which were the hardest hit during the COVID-19 pandemic, by increasing their visibility on this nationally celebrated day of freedom,” she said.

“Brooklyn-based Black-owned businesses have suffered disproportionately during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Randy Peers, president and CEO of the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce. “We have sponsored the Cadman Plaza Park Juneteenth Festival to help promote economic inclusion of our borough’s hardest hit businesses, by increasing their visibility and presence on this day, which commemorates freedom and independence for African Americans.”

“Juneteenth has long been a day for African Americans to celebrate and reflect on the moment when our ancestors finally learned that they were free,” said Attorney General James. “It’s a day to recognize how far we have come, but also to understand how far we have to go. Over the past year, Black-owned small businesses have been disproportionately impacted by the pandemic, and it’s up to us to help support these bedrocks of our community.

“With the city back on track, it is crucial that Black-owned businesses feel supported to ensure an inclusive economic recovery that makes New York stronger and more resilient,” said Jen Hensley, Lyft’s senior director of public policy. 

The celebration will also feature two community workout sessions led by Work Hard, Train Harder Fitness and Qfitness; music by J4K Trio band; a dance performance by the Gowanus Wildcats; and “Buy Black bags” featuring products and services from local Brooklyn-based Black-owned business.

The conservancy, a volunteer run 501c3 nonprofit organization, strives to maximize park usage, provide availability to all neighboring communities, ensure regular maintenance and continue the beautification, cleanliness, and safety of the park. The conservancy has a mission to preserve the park’s historical integrity through special programs and events.

The Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce is among the largest and most influential business advocacy organizations in New York, having spent the 100 years developing and promoting policies that drive economic development and advance its members’ interests. The Chamber is the voice of Brooklyn’s business community, offering the resources, programs, tools and direct support businesses need to continue creating jobs and opportunities in their communities.

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