Jason Janz – a personal acquaintance I met through his launching and running the successful Christian website Sharper Iron – wrote a Speakout published in today’s Rocky Mountain News about Denver’s upcoming Juneteenth celebration:
I am not African-American and I am going to Juneteenth. In fact, I believe that people of all ethnicities should attend if they are able. Why? Juneteenth is a celebration of freedom and equality, values that every American should embrace. Just because the peak of the civil rights movement has passed does not mean that racial tension in our community is gone. There is still much work to do. By standing next to the African-American community, you are showing solidarity with them as a partner for peace and harmony in our city.
I also believe that celebrating another culture will enrich your life. Learning about another culture will teach you much about your own. You cannot fully understand your own culture unless you understand others. Saturday will be a study for you in similarities and differences. You will see commonalities that show that all people are more alike than different. At the same time, you will see the differences between your culture and African-American culture as unique gifts from God to make this city a beautiful place to live and work.
Jason and his family left their more comfortable place in a suburban church ministry to start the multi-ethnic Providence Bible Church. If you are a Christian believer, please consider supporting the Janz family and their labor of love with your prayers. Or maybe you can join them at this Saturday’s Juneteenth celebration.