June a time for reflection, rebirth and charity —
November 23, 2017

June a time for reflection, rebirth and charity

By Gavin L Garcia

As an Austin resident, if you pay attention, you’ll find abundant opportunities in June to make gratifying journeys to unexpected places, without leaving the city limits.

The effect of making one or several of the outings listed below could lead to inordinate liberal-minded thought, perhaps; but, by that calculation you’d learn you are part of a special, diverse community fueled by a progressive tradition.

Juneteenth is the subject of our cover story, and local citizens may soon proudly boast of a new Memorial Monument to the holiday, being unveiled this month at the George Washington Carver Museum, Cultural and Genealogy Center. Five-statues depict free slaves in an interactive array, with interpretive panels detailing the development and evolution of slavery, and a massive stone Emancipation Proclamation.

June is also Immigrant Heritage Month, and a nationwide effort led by the non-profit, Welcome.us, is underway to gather and share inspirational stories of immigration in America. You can take part by using #ImmigrantHeritageMonth and #IHM2015 on Twitter and Instagram to tag your unique stories on social media.
Here at home, the organizations that make up the Austin Refugee Roundtable serve refugees from 15 countries, eager to share their heritage and customs in our community. Join them at the annual World Refugee Day Celebration on Saturday, June 20, 11 a.m.-3 p.m. at the Bullock Texas State History Museum. New citizens to our neighborhoods will take part in a naturalization ceremony, and attendees can sample world cuisine, enjoy live music, performances and activities at the free, family-friendly event.

Stonewall rally at the state capitol
Stonewall rally at the state capitol

LGBT Pride Month is observed this month as we remember the Stonewall Riots of 1969, the event that signified for the first time in our country’s history the pride and power of the LGBTQ community, who fought against persecution. On Thursday, June 25, 7 p.m., join the Austin Gay & Lesbian Pride Foundation, in conjunction with Transgender Education Network of Texas, Equality Texas, and Austin’s drag community, at the South steps of the State Capitol for the 5th Annual Stonewall Rally in observance of the date’s 46th anniversary.

For the people of Islamic faith, it is almost time for Ramadan, a period for acts of charity and self-examination. Several of Austin’s Islamic centers and mosques actively invite the public to their places of worship, and to join them as they break their daily fast at the close of day.

Ramadan begins at sundown on Wednesday, June 17, and runs through Friday, July 17, which is Eid al-Fitr (the feast of breaking the fast). North Austin Muslim Community Center holds its 5th annual Ramadan open house on Wednesday, June 10, 6:30-9:30 p.m. at 11900 N. Lamar Blvd. There are similar opportunities available at the Islamic Center of Greater Austin, Masjid Ibrahim in Southwest Austin, Islamic Ahlul Bayt Association, Nueces Mosque and the Islamic Center of Brushy Creek in Cedar Park.

As-salamu alaykum.

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