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Join the City of Somerville’s Juneteenth Flag Raising Ceremony

Ceremony at City Hall Concourse will include performances, remarks, and poetry commemorating Juneteenth Ice cream and refreshments will be provided by Tipping Cow Ice Cream

Mayor Katjana Ballantyne and the Somerville Department of Racial and Social Justice (RSJ) today invite the Somerville community to attend the City’s Juneteenth flag-raising event from 5:30 - 6:30 p.m. at the Somerville City Hall concourse on Monday, June 12, 2023.

“The Juneteenth flag is a powerful symbol of equality, justice, and the enduring spirit of freedom. It is an honor to join the Somerville community to fly it proudly above City Hall,” said Mayor Ballantyne. “It serves to remind all of us of our shared responsibility to confront the legacy of slavery and continue the work of building a more inclusive and equitable society.” 

U.S. Army Veteran Kevin Dickinson will conduct the flag-raising ceremony with live speeches and performances from North Shore Juneteenth Association representatives, including Ogor Winnie Okoye, Andre Bennett, Eva Davenport, and Michelle La Poetica Richardson.

“I look forward to sharing this meaningful day with the Somerville community to commemorate the emancipation of enslaved African Americans on this day in 1865,” said RSJ Director Denise Molina Capers. “But this is not only a celebration – it’s an important reminder of the hardship that brought us to this point and an opportunity to recommit ourselves fully to pursuing and progressing opportunity, access, and equity to all."

Black-owned and Somerville-based Tipping Cow Ice Cream will provide ice cream during the flag-raising ceremony. The Somerville Department of Racial and Social Justice is also sponsoring 50 tickets to an upcoming exhibit at the Somerville Museum:

  • Above and Beyond: The Remarkable Life of Somerville Olympian Phil Reavis
    • “Above and Beyond showcases the life of Phil Reavis – a Somerville native, Olympic athlete, long-time educator and one of the first people of color in Somerville with a public space named in his honor.”
    • $5 admission fee for the exhibit running from June 8 - July 8, 2023, to be covered with a valid ticket from the RSJ Department.

Tickets valid for admission to the “Above and Beyond” exhibit will be available at the flag-raising ceremony and after the event, while supplies last, by emailing RSJ Community Engagement Specialist Leonor Galindo at

The flag-raising will also be recorded and made available for later viewing by the City’s GovTV team. Watch on-demand with optional closed-captioning (select the CC icon) on Or watch on cable TV at GovTV Comcast Ch. 22 and GovTV Astound (RCN) Ch. 13 & 613. Videos generally post within one to two business days of recording. Live ASL Interpretation will be provided at the event.

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Individuals with disabilities who need auxiliary aids and services for effective communication, written materials in alternative formats, or reasonable modifications in policies and procedures, in order to access the programs and activities of the City of Somerville or to attend meetings, should contact the ADA Coordinator, Adrienne Pomeroy, at 617-625-6600 x2059 or
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Interpretation into any language is available upon advance request (at least 7 days advance) by contacting the SomerViva Office of Immigrant Affairs at or calling 311 at 617-666-3311.

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