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Freedom Summer STL | Juneteenth Kickoff

Jun 19 @ 11:00 am 3:00 pm

Join us as we kick off Freedom Summer STL on Juneteenth!

When: Wednesday, June 19 from 11am to 3pm. Doors open at 10:30.

Where: Fairground Park

The Juneteenth Kickoff to Freedom Summer STIL is a joint celebration with Saint John’s United Church of Christ (The Beloved Community), Faith for Justice, and Freedom Arts & Education Center.

We will provide the following:

  • Voter Registration
  • Voter Rights Information
  • Trainings on Abolition, Civics, Expungement, Housing Rights, and Voting
  • Resource Fair
  • Legal Services*
    • Expungement – Lawyers will try to assess criminal records to determine your eligibility for expungement, assist with completing court forms if you are eligible and able to represent yourself, or walk you through an application for legal services if you may need more representation.Housing – Lawyers will assess your housing-related legal needs, provide advice (if possible) based on those needs, and counsel those dealing with poor housing conditions.
    • Pro Se Guides & Materials – Additional legal resources and materials will be available.

*None of the consultations with lawyers mean that you will be guaranteed legal representation at or after the event

This is the first in a series of three identical Freedom Summer STL events taking place in various locations across the city. The final event will be a march and rally with details forthcoming.

This summer marks the 60th anniversary of Freedom Summer, a pivotal moment in America’s civil rights history, as well as the 10th anniversary of the Ferguson Uprising following the killing of Michael Brown Jr. This year is also a critical moment in history with consequential elections where voters will make decisions that will impact our communities for generations to come. ArchCity Defenders’ Freedom Summer STL efforts around political and voter rights education and advocacy create a space of service, activation, and recommitment to justice and transformation for the region in collaboration with Action St. Louis, Missouri Voter Protection Coalition, Freedom Community Center, Homes For All, and other grassroots community partners.  

Far too many people in our region are experiencing housing and economic insecurity at some of the worst levels we have seen in recent times. They often find themselves moving through multiple crises and lack information, resources, and support to engage with their local governments beyond policing and courts. It is in recognition of this context and the continued distance between policymakers and those most impacted by their decisions that we embark on a special campaign, Freedom Summer STL. 

Freedom Summer STL is a multidisciplinary effort focusing on four priority areas: voting, expungement, abolition, and housing justice. Throughout the summer, over a series of community events in St. Louis City and County, ArchCity Defenders and its community partners will, in part: 1) provide civics training, 2) educate residents on their voting rights – from what documents are required on election day to whether or not their right to vote has been restored following a conviction, 3) conduct voter registration, 4) provide criminal record expungement support, and 5) host legal clinics. Freedom Summer STL will culminate in a rally and march in August.  

The aim is to ensure that all information and resources can be easily accessed in a singular setting. The efforts will be a continuation of, and catalyst for, organizing and movement-building efforts, providing community members with tools needed to impact policy change.