Island families and friends showed up in numbers to be with community on Sunday, June 19, at Mukai Farm & Garden in recognition of the second annual Vashon Juneteenth event, which was a collaboration of the Vashon Juneteenth Committee, Mukai Farm & Garden and supported by a team of volunteers.
The gathering was a moment to reflect on the impact of slavery in America, the significance of the timeline of freedoms granted and the efforts needed to repair.
The day featured sunshine, the beautiful gardens and history of Mukai, great food and music along with an important presentation of reparations. Local restaurants Mica’s Kitchen and Gravy served up green gumbo and pulled pork sandwiches, respectively.
Attendees of all ages got to groove to the musical sounds of Kim Archer and John Browne. The highlight of the event was the presentation on reparations.
Former Friends of Mukai board member, Joe Okimoto, shared his lived experience of the incarceration of people of Japanese descent at 10 sites across the country during the President Roosevelt administration. He acknowledged the work of the Civil Rights movement for all people of color.
The main speaker, Kyle Kinoshita of the Seattle Japanese American Citizen League, shared perspectives of Japanese American life following the internment and the path to the Civil Liberties Act of 1988 that granted reparations. Betty Capehart shared the status and possibility of realizing federal reparations for descendants of American slaves.
The 2022 Vashon Juneteenth event was sponsored in part by Tag Gornall, Mukai Farm & Garden & Vashon Juneteenth Committee members: Christina Arthur, Betty Capehart, Natasha Blanchette, Ty Cunningham, Chantel Jackson, Tina Shattuck and Stacy Carkonen.
Mark your calendars for 2 to 4 p.m. Saturday, September 17, to continue the conversation with Reparations Presentation, Conversation & Action at Mukai Farm & Garden. Connect with Vashon-Maury Showing Up for Racial Justice (SURJ), Indivisible Vashon or Mukai Farm & Garden for more information.