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Earlier today, Career Communications Group’s STEM City USA sponsored an event in downtown Baltimore to celebrate Juneteenth, a national holiday signed into law by President Joe Biden in 2022.

Juneteenth began as an occasion to remember in Galveston, Texas, on June 19, 1865.

On that day, Maj. Gen. Gordon Granger read President Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation stating that the enslaved people were now to be employees rather than property. He landed on Galveston Island, Texas, with more than 2,000 federal soldiers to put an end to the deception of Black people in that community.

The troops arrived to enforce the proclamation because local authorities had failed to recognize emancipation more than two years after it was issued.

Despite the abolition of slavery, real and lasting change did not happen overnight as pockets of enslavers around the country resisted the emancipation order and worked to maintain hurdles that deferred true justice and equality.

The long shadow of systemic racism in America persisted as many people around the country still ignored the moral imperative of righting centuries of policies that resulted in negative consequences.

After a white mob burned down her family home in 1939, Opal Lee became an educator and an activist.

The Fort Worth native worked to see Juneteenth become a federal holiday.

2024 marks the fourth time Juneteenth is recognized as a federal holiday, a day to celebrate the right to maintain our freedoms.

This week, Opal Lee received keys to a new house built on the same plot of land where her family’s home once stood.

On March 27, 2024, in the Texas Capital, Trinity Habitat for Humanity, and HistoryMaker Homes announced that they had joined forces to rebuild the home of Dr. Opal Lee, the “Grandmother of Juneteenth.”

The official Wall Raising Ceremony for her new home occurred on Thursday, March 21, 2024, in Fort Worth, Texas.

This home is made possible through contributions from the Texas Capital Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Texas Capital, HistoryMaker Homes, and Trinity Habitat for Humanity.

Never losing hope of someday owning her family’s lot, Dr. Lee inquired about purchasing it from Trinity Habitat for Humanity, who generously gave it to her for $10.

Texas Capital learned of the need to build a new home for Dr. Lee. It contacted HistoryMaker Homes, its longtime residential homebuilding partner, to propose involvement in this historic project. To Dr. Lee’s excitement, HistoryMaker Homes generously offered to build the home at no cost to Dr. Lee. Recently, Dr. Lee visited the HistoryMaker Homes design center, where she selected all the flooring, fixtures, and lighting for her planned home.

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