Nonprofits, companies and cities across the US will hold marches, festivals and other events in honor of Juneteenth, a federal holiday commemorating the end of slavery in the US. Opal Lee, the "Grandmother of Juneteenth," will host her annual Walk to D.C. event, the Juneteenth Foundation is putting on a weekend festival, and organizations such as OutdoorAfro, StepAfrika and the National Museum of African American History and Culture also have in-person and online events planned.
The Tampa Arts Alliance has formed in Tampa, Fla., with the goal of serving as "a catalyst and convener of arts advocates dedicated to making Tampa a city known for excellence in the arts," according to the organization. "We want to raise up the profile of our arts and culture to show off what makes Tampa unique," said Board Chair Neil Gobioff, who is also president of the Gobioff Foundation.
Human-I-T is working with the city of Detroit and local businesses to distribute computers, tablets and other technology devices to low-income families. "Those who are connected to the internet have better opportunities in school, have better opportunities for jobs, better opportunities for housing," said Mayor Mike Duggan.
Houston artist Reginald Adams has developed a 5,000 square-foot mural in Galveston, Texas, the birthplace of Juneteenth, that tells the story of the federal holiday. The Juneteenth Legacy Project headed up the mural and is hosting a pop-up museum inside the building.
United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres will stay on as head of the UN after member states unanimously approved his bid for a second term. Meanwhile, members of the General Assembly and Security Council are considering how to hold meetings as the pandemic eases in some regions and debating the benefits and shortcomings of virtual gatherings.
The number of people forcibly driven from their homes by violence, war or human rights violations climbed 4% in 2020 to hit a record high of 82.4 million -- and nearly one million children were born as refugees between 2018 and 2020, a report from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees states. "We are now in excess of one percent of humanity being forcibly displaced," says UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi, noting that the number of displaced people has doubled over the last decade.
The Delta variant of COVID-19, which shows signs of increased transmissibility, has been detected in over 80 countries and could quickly overwhelm health care systems, warns World Health Organization technical lead on COVID-19 Dr. Maria Van Kerkhove. The WHO reports that new cases and virus deaths are rapidly climbing in Africa, and WHO regional director for Africa Dr. Matshidiso Moeti says the continent needs millions more vaccine doses to prevent new variants from emerging.
The pandemic has raised new obstacles for victims of sexual violence in conflict and made bringing perpetrators to justice even more challenging, United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres reports in a message marking the International Day for the Elimination of Sexual Violence in Conflict. "Let's resolve to uphold the rights and meet the needs of all survivors, as we work to prevent and end these horrific crimes," Guterres adds.
Drought has affected more people globally in the last 40 years than any other natural disaster, and drought-related disasters are becoming increasingly severe and more frequent as climate change accelerates, the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction reports. "Drought is on the verge of becoming the next pandemic and there is no vaccine to cure it," warns UN Special Representative for Disaster Risk Reduction Mami Mizutori.
The United Nations General Assembly is meeting today to discuss a nonbinding resolution to urge member states to help curb the supply of arms to Myanmar and condemn the country's military, which seized power in February. The UN office in Myanmar is calling on both sides of the Myanmar conflict to respect international human rights laws in the wake of reports that military forces burned down a village and a group working against the military captured and executed 25 civilians.
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