Juneteenth USA (JUSA) was founded in 1985 by the late State Representative Al Edwards Sr (D-TX). Juneteenth USA is the oldest Juneteenth nonprofit advocacy organization in the United States. Its sole purpose at its founding was to raise awareness of the Juneteenth Holiday, support events, the arts, and education for that purpose, and encourage state legislative bodies around the US to take up the law in their state legislatures and pass it as a state holiday. Under the leadership of State Rep. Al Edwards Sr. over 30 state legislatures around the country passed a bill making Juneteenth or “June 19th” a state holiday.
Al Edwards Sr passed away in 2020, a year before the state holiday would become a national holiday. Since his passing, three of his children have stepped into his legacy to continue to advance the new mission of Juneteenth USA. That is to serve as the nation’s premier organization to screen and fund exceptional projects that elevate the history of African Americans and the significance of Juneteenth, while also partnering with like-minded individuals and corporate partners to uplift the population most affected by American slavery.
The mission of Juneteenth USA is to fund exceptional projects to bring all Americans to celebrate, support, and continue to elevate the common bond of freedom through the recognition, observance, education, and historic preservation of Juneteenth in America.
The vision of Juneteenth USA is to use its 37 years of history to be the premier partner of the creative community, corporate America, and the donor community to engage with the holiday nationally and to continue to bring awareness to the purpose, values, and racial implications of the acknowledgment and preservation of the recognition of the holiday, increasing the groundbreaking projects across the country, and commemorating the spirit in which Juneteenth was created.
Along with locating and supporting meaningful music-related projects, the fine arts, and educational programs Juneteenth USA's primary goal is to uplift the population most affected by American slavery. With your support, we will throughout the year provide scholarships to HBCU students and K-12 STEAM-focused educational programs, along with funding early-intervention mentoring and supportive programs that focus on helping young Black males. Advocating for life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness starts with protecting one's life and their liberty. Education and guiding young minds to make better decisions are key components. With your support, we plan to honor the lives and liberty lost during the era of slavery by helping those that still find the pursuit of happiness elusive.