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Find out what Juneteenth means to Dominique McDow, RVNAhealth’s Education and EMR Specialist

Dominique McDow, RVNAhealth’s Education and EMR Specialist, shares a narrative about what Juneteenth means to her.

What does Juneteenth mean to you? Juneteenth to me means resilience.
 
How do you celebrate Juneteenth? 
 
In my family, Juneteenth is a time of reflection. We try to use the time to learn about our familial history and celebrate the achievements accomplished by the current generations who are continuing to pave the way for the generations to come. Most of the census records of my ancestors list them as mainly having either a primary occupation of sharecropper/farmer or maid. Now many of us hold bachelor's and master’s degrees and are entrepreneurs.
 
What can other people do to celebrate Juneteenth?  
 
Use the time to reflect and learn something new. No matter how much we want to forget, slavery is a part of this country's make up and we cannot collectively move forward if we do not recognize all that makes this country what it has become today.
 
What does freedom look like to you? 
 
For me, this is hard to say because I believe we are still working to accomplish true freedom. As women, we have to work smarter and harder to justify our intellect and skill; the same can be said for African Americans and other minority communities. Even though we have come far there are still battles of injustice being fought on multiple fronts.
 
Why do you want people to continue the conversation and education about Juneteenth? 
 
Because it is American history. African Americans are still making history by celebrating firsts. To me, to understand the importance of Juneteenth is to understand and accept African American culture and embrace it as a part of American history and culture.
 
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