Jun 12, 2023 - Things to Do

This week's Embrace Ideas Festival for Juneteenth

The Embrace statue on Boston Common. The memorial features the arms of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Coretta Scott King as they embrace.

The Embrace memorial on Boston Common Photo: Steph Solis/Axios

Boston’s Embrace Ideas Festival kicks off this week with a Juneteenth Concert at The Embrace memorial.

Why it matters: The festival is meant to be a blueprint for how the city — and the rest of the country — should observe Juneteenth.

Zoom in: People know how to celebrate Father’s Day and the Fourth of July, but they don’t necessarily know how to observe the holiday commemorating Black emancipation from enslavement, says Imari Paris Jeffries, head of the nonprofit Embrace Boston.

  • “If Boston can redefine and reimagine itself as a place of equity, I think it gives America permission to do the same,” he says.

What’s happening: Amandi Music, Boston Arts Academy’s Spirituals Ensemble and the Voices of Embrace Choir will take the stage at Wednesday's concert on the Common near The Embrace, which starts at 10:30am.

  • The festival will continue through Friday with panels and talks by historian Annette Gordon-Reed and journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones.
  • It ends with a block party on Friday, days before the official Juneteenth holiday.

One panel will be led by local artists including theo tyson and DJ Real P.

See the full schedule.


Get more local stories in your inbox with Axios Boston.


Support local journalism by becoming a member.

Learn more

More Boston stories

No stories could be found


Get a free daily digest of the most important news in your backyard with Axios Boston.


Support local journalism by becoming a member.

Learn more