embrace boston

Embrace Ideas Festival kicks off in Boston

The three day long festival seeks to amplify anti-racism by embracing culture and ideas

NBC Universal, Inc.

Juneteenth isn't until next week. But here in Boston, they start the celebration early.

A Juneteenth concert Wednesday morning on the Boston Common kicked off the three-day Embrace Ideas Festival, aimed at amplifying anti-racism by embracing culture and ideas.

The second annual event brings together local, state and national leaders to amplify anti-racism and a vision for a transformed Boston by 2030

It was the first formal event at the Embrace Memorial since its unveiling earlier this year and included live music, including a performance from Boston Mayor Michelle Wu, who played piano with the Embrace Choir.

The next few days will feature more than entertainment. The festival will include panel discussions, an awards ceremony, a block party and more. All to celebrate the emancipation of enslaved people in a very special and meaningful way.

"Its not a familiar holiday to a lot of people and they might not know how to celebrate it, so we wanted to invite them to come to a concert, learn about some new ideas, hear some really interesting speakers, listen to some amazing music -- center Black people, Black culture, Black ideas -- bringing people together and realizing there’s a lot more that we have in common than separates us so Juneteenth is an opportunity to do that." said Imari Paris Jeffries, executive director of Embrace Boston.

The events continued with a panel discussion on Wednesday afternoon, and Thursday's events will include a morning and an afternoon panel.

You can find the full list of Embrace Ideas Festival events here.

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