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City to Host Virtual Panel Discussion about Racial Injustice on June 19 in Recognition of Juneteenth, the Date that Commemorates the End of Slavery in the United States

Post Date:June 16, 2020 5:08 PM

Juneteenth Panel DiscussionThe City of West Hollywood will present a virtual panel discussion about racial injustice on Friday, June 19, 2020 at 5 p.m. in recognition of Juneteenth, the date that commemorates the end of slavery in the United States. Panelists will discuss issues of racial injustice and police violence, and will provide a critical lens and legal and historical perspective on why the movement is happening in the way it is today, and how the progressive LGBTQ+ community can be engaged in next steps to create meaningful change.

Panelists will include: Barbara Arnwine (moderator) President & Founder of Transformative Justice Coalition; Jasmyne Cannick, political strategist and journalist working on the intersection of race and politics; Sinbad, actor, comedian, and activist; Marcus Smith, Emmy Award-winning Executive Producer of KTLA 5 Morning News; and Marquita Thomas: Executive Director of the LGBT Chamber of Commerce. Los Angeles County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas will provide a welcome and introduction.

Community members may live-stream the panel by visiting the City’s website at or on the City’s YouTube channel at; on streaming services such as AndroidTV, AppleTV, FireTV, and Roku; and through broadcasts on Spectrum channel 10 in West Hollywood and AT&T U-verse channel 99 throughout Southern California. Digital streaming platform viewers can easily find programming by searching for “WeHoTV” within the search functions of these services. Members of the public wishing to ask questions of the panelists prior to the meeting may email no later than 5 p.m. on Thursday, June 18, 2020.

Juneteenth was first marked as a holiday more than 150 years ago. We should be outraged that, in 2020, racial injustice, systemic racism, and police brutality are still day-to-day realities in our nation,” said City of West Hollywood Mayor Lindsey P. Horvath. “We are outraged at the murders of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor, among so many Black lives lost too soon to violence. West Hollywood is a City founded in advocacy for social justice and human rights. We must ask difficult questions and we must work for systemic change. I hope you can join the panel discussion on June 19 as we examine what meaningful change looks like in support of fairness, inclusivity, equality, and justice.”

At its regular meeting on Monday, June 15, 2020, the City of West Hollywood’s City Council approved support for a pledge issued by President Obama to commit to action to address police use of force policies. This pledge includes review of law enforcement use of force policies; community engagement that includes a diverse range of input, experiences, and stories; and reporting the findings of such a review to the community to seek feedback. 

Juneteenth is recognized on June 19 each year and is a date that commemorates the end of slavery in the United States. It was on June 19 in 1865, more than two years after the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation, that news reached Texas and orders were read in Galveston that all previously enslaved people in Texas were free. Juneteenth is not only a reminder of a painful chapter in American history, but it also serves as an opportunity for people to recommit to combat all forms of modern-day slavery, human trafficking, and racial injustice.

The City of West Hollywood remains in a declared local emergency in response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. While Los Angeles County is allowing for a phased reopening of some businesses and activities, coronavirus transmission and COVID-19 disease remain a serious risk. West Hollywood City Hall is currently closed to in-person transactions, but City Hall services remain accessible by phone at (323) 848-6400 and via the City’s website at City of West Hollywood coronavirus information is available at

For more information about the City of West Hollywood’s Juneteenth panel, please contact Andi Lovano in the City of West Hollywood’s Community and Legislative Affairs Division at (323) 848-6333 or at

For up-to-date news and events, follow the City of West Hollywood on social media @WeHoCity, sign up for news updates at, and visit the City’s calendar of meetings and events at

For reporters and members of the media seeking additional information about the City of West Hollywood, please contact the City of West Hollywood’s Public Information Officer, Sheri A. Lunn, at (323) 848-6391 or

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