Dallas Southern Pride will host its highly anticipated annual Juneteenth Unity Weekend Celebration, June 16-18, 2023. This year’s celebration will include a myriad of events, including the return of the sold-out Festival and Pool Party, Welcome Reception, health and wellness screenings, wellness summits, and networking mixers. The three-day weekend of festivities will commence with the Dallas Southern Pride Welcome Reception hosted by Presenting Sponsor Gilead Sciences on Friday, June 16 from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. and Houston & New Orleans Invades Dallas party from 11 p.m. to 2 a.m. at Thrive Night Club, 1015 Elm St., Dallas, Texas, 75202. Some of the biggest names in hip-hop and entertainment, including Supahbadd and KenTheMan, are confirmed to perform at the Juneteenth Unity Festival and Pool Party on Saturday, June 17 from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.  at Samuell-Grand Acquatic Center, 3201 Samuell Blvd., Dallas, Texas. We are also highlighting several LGBTQ and local artists. The weekend will conclude with the Kirk Myers-Hill Signature Brunch from 12p.m. to 4 p.m. at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, 1015 Elm St., Dallas, Texas 75202 and “The Climax” party from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. at Thrive Night Club. 

More than 10,000 people from across the nation and internationally are slated to attend this year’s  Juneteenth Unity Weekend Celebration, which was created to celebrate the brilliance and culture of  Black people. An idea birthed by community leader, business executive and activist, the late Kirk  Myers-Hill, the Juneteenth Unity Weekend Celebration is the official annual celebration for Black  communities to come together and celebrate their contributions to both American and Black culture,  liberation and community. 

“Juneteenth is an opportunity to showcase unity and display the belief that we are all stronger  together,” said Ahmad Goree, Dallas Southern Pride’s new leader. “This year represents our ability to  overcome when we work together as a collective community. This is a celebration of unity and  resilience – the freedoms of life, love and joy of Black livelihood.”  

Juneteenth became a federally recognized national holiday in 2021. However, long before the nation  started celebrating this holiday, Black people in Texas were celebrating this day, as it originated  in Texas. The Emancipation Proclamation, which granted freedom to slaves, was signed in 1863.  However, it wasn’t until two years later, on June 19, 1865, that slaves in Texas first learned of their freedom. Union troops entered Galveston, TX, announcing that all slaves were free. This marked the  beginning of Juneteenth as it is known and recognized today. Since 2017, the Governor of Texas has  submitted a proclamation recognizing the Juneteenth Unity Weekend Celebration. 

The Juneteenth Unity Weekend Celebration is a family-oriented celebration with events and  programming for the entire community. A staple in the city of Dallas during Pride Month since 2008,  the 2023 Juneteenth Unity Weekend Celebration also establishes the Celebration becoming the new  official Black Pride Weekend.  

Since its inception, Juneteenth Unity Weekend Celebration has made a positive impact in the Dallas Ft. Worth metroplex by unifying the community, celebrating freedom, providing a safe space for  community gathering, and infusing millions of dollars into the local economy. The 2022 Juneteenth  Unity Weekend Celebration brought thousands of visitors to the Metroplex and sold-out all its host  hotels. Ticket sales more than doubled for the 2022 event and generated more than $3.7 million 

dollars for local businesses, impacting consumer sales across multiple industries including airlines,  hotels, ground transportation, food, and clothing. The event and leadership team also created other  historic moments for the city of Dallas. As a result, the HIV positivity rate dropped below 10 percent  for the first time in the event’s history among more than 200 attendees tested; the Dallas Police  Department held a recruitment drive prioritizing LGBTQ+ applicants; the Dallas skyline was lighted in  the Juneteenth and Black Pride colors and The Dallas Southern Pride Official Pride flag was debuted  and flown at the Sheraton Market Center. 

The Juneteenth Unity Weekend is a collaborative celebration made possible by the support of the  many companies and organizations that share the collective vision for this impactful event that  advances the entire Black family and social justice movements and celebrates unity and peace.  

Visit www.dallassouthernpride.com to secure tickets to the Festival and Pool Party, and the Mega  Party. A portion of the proceeds from this year’s Juneteenth Unity Weekend Celebration will be used  to support the free health and wellness programs of its partner agencies, which offsets the cost of  essential services to Black and Brown communities, with an emphasis on LGBTQ+ communities and  their families in the DFW metroplex. 

The 2023 Juneteenth Unity Weekend Celebration is sponsored by the HIV Vaccine Trials Network, the Yale School of Nursing, the Community Group, PBailey Enterprises for the University of North Texas at Fort Worth Health Science Center, Jack’d, Dallas Tourism Public Improvement District, ViiV  Healthcare, CocaCola, Black Voters Matter, FHI 360/hptn096 and Gilead Sciences.