June Takes Aim at Gun Violence, the Environment, Summerfests and more worthwhile causes and fun events. It is the month to celebrate the official onset of Summer, Fathers, and festivals galore. Here are the highlights:
NATIONAL GUN VIOLENCE AWARENESS DAY (June 3rd)
National Gun Violence Awareness Day occurs annually to raise awareness of our nation’s gun violence crisis. The spate of violence unfortunately is continuing in 2023. Last year’s July 4th shooting in Highland Park, IL and the back to back massacres in Texas and Buffalo, New York were a reminder that we have much work left to do. Is anyone in government listening?
The effect of gun violence on our communities impacts everyone uniquely. The racially motivated mass shooting in Buffalo reminds us of the long-standing racial inequities in America. Black Americans are 10x more likely to die by homicide than white Americans. The Robb Elementary school mass shooting in Texas that killed 19 children and two teachers was a result of mental illness.
The eventful day is always the first Friday in June and also kicks off Wear Orange Weekend (June 2-4).
WORLD ENVIRONMENT DAY – Held annually since 1972 on the 5th of June, World Environment Day is the biggest annual event for positive environmental action. The theme is always selected by the host country who, in 2023 is Cote D’Ivoire.
The Theme: Beat Plastic Pollution calls for global solutions to beat plastic pollution. The theme invites us all to consider how we can make changes in our everyday lives to reduce the heavy burden of plastic pollution on our natural places, our wildlife – and our own health.
GAY AND LESBIAN PRIDE MONTH (LGBT) – a/k/a Gay, Lesbian, Sexual and Transgender Pride Month. Gay Pride or LGBT Pride is a worldwide movement asserting that lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender individuals should be proud of their sexual orientation and gender identity. The three main messages are: (1) people should be proud of their sexual orientation and gender identity; (2) sexual diversity is a gift, and (3) sexual orientation and gender identity are inherent and cannot be intentionally altered.
June was chosen to remember the 1969 riot at the Stonewall Inn, a gay bar on famed Christopher Street in Manhattan. On June 28,1970, the first march commemorating the anniversary of the riot took place in NYC – the first of its kind in the United States. Many claim that the Stonewall Inn Riot marked the beginning of the gay liberation movement in the US.
Each city holds its own festivities and selects its own themes and dates to celebrate. You can find pride parades, marches, picnics, parties, memorials for those lost from HIV and AIDS, and other group gathering events that attract countless thousands of individuals. Three of the biggest cities — New York City, Chicago https://chicagopride.gopride.com/events.cfm and San Francisco are all holding many events with parades and/or marches. Check your local community listings or the Pride Events website for LGBT Pride events happening near you.
SUMMER FESTIVALS – June marks the official onset of Summer and well before the Summer solstice on June 21, festival season is in high gear. From arts & crafts, to dance and music; from food, to hot-air balloons to air shows, you will find a festival to tickle your fancy. Families, individuals, couples and the like, there is a Summer Fest for everyone. Some of the largest free festivals include:
SummerStage, June thru October, Central Park, NYC – the largest free performing arts festival in New York City. Featuring: artists and genres that reflect the diverse cultures and communities in neighborhood parks across the five boroughs — from the iconic to the avant-garde, from opera to hip-hop, film to circus–and everything in between. bring you nearly 80 free and benefit performances in 13 parks across all five boroughs.
The 37th season will bring salsa, jazz, indie-rock, country, bhangra, afrobeats, opera, and so much more. SummerStage will also be celebrating the 50th Anniversary of Hip-Hop with artists from NYC where the style was created, and from around the world where NYC’s influence on the genre still reigns supreme.
Chicago Blues Festival – Chicago’s Millenium Park will once again be home to the Chicago Blues Festival. The annual event is billed as the largest free Blues festival in the world with top tier talent performing across three stages for four consecutive days, from June 8 – 11. The stages: Jay Pritzker Pavillion, Mississippi Juke Joint Stage (North Promenade) and Rosa’s Lounge Stage (South Promenade).
Chicago Air & Water Show, August 19-20, Chicago, IL – This air and water show is one of the largest free shows of its kind in the United States, taking place each year at Chicago’s lakefront at North Avenue Beach. Featuring: a wide variety of military and civilian aerial demonstration teams with daredevil pilots performing their stunts in the skies above. Past headliners included the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds and the U.S. Army Parachute Team Golden Knights.
Perhaps the biggest festival of all – paying homage to Dads everywhere. Happy Father’s Day to all the Dads around the world! Enjoy!
June’s offerings do run the gamut from important cause events to raise gun violence awareness to Summer festivals and family fun. Happy June! – We are Socially Sparked! Tweet @sosparkednews & @asparks01