Things to Do

These Are the DC Protests and Virtual Events Commemorating Juneteenth

How to spend the holiday, either marching in the street or online from home.

Juneteenth is the annual June 19 celebration marking the end of slavery in the United States, when Union troops arrived in Texas—more than two years after the Emancipation Proclamation. This year, on the 155th anniversary of Juneteenth— and the third week of anti-police violence protests in Washington—the holiday will be commemorated with marches, rallies, and vigils demanding racial justice. Social distancing at home? There are still plenty of virtual events you can attend. Here’s a look at Friday’s calendar:

Marches, Protests, and Rallies 

Local organizers are demanding justice for Terrence Sterling, Jeffery Price, D’Quan Young, Marqueese Alston, Miriam Carey, Ralphael Briscoe, and others with a general strike on Juneteenth. We Strike For Black Lives is a call to action for protests, direct action, and walkouts centering the demands of Black Lives Matter DC.

Ward 8 is celebrating Juneteenth with a 10 AM #Ward8Matters march and rally kicking off at 2208 Matin Luther King Jr. Ave., SE.

Educators For Equity is organizing a Black Students Matter March, starting with a 10 AM poster-making session at Freedom Plaza (14th St., NW and Pennsylvania Ave., NW). Protesters begin marching at 11 AM to the Department of Education, where there will be group discussions with educators and students.

Strollers and baby carriers are welcome at the Black Mamas March at Navy Memorial Plaza (701 Pennsylvania Ave., NW). The 11 AM march also includes a dance-party demonstration and a march for baby protesters.

The Mystics and Wizards are protesting at 6th St., NW and G St., NW, next to Capitol One Arena.

Protesters are gathering at the Capitol Reflecting Pool (899 North Capitol St., NE) at 1 PM for a Defend Black Women march and rally. The demonstration is merging with the Black Mamas March on the way to Freedom Plaza.

Head to the National Museum of African American History & Culture (1400 Constitution Ave., NW) at 2 PM for a Freedom Day March to Freedom Plaza.

A number of marches are affiliated with the Movement For Black Lives’ Six Nineteen initiative, converging at 3 PM in Freedom Plaza (14th St., NW and Pennsylvania Ave., NW). Find the full list of events and demands on the movement’s website.

Demonstrators protesting for the reduction of MPD’s budget are coming together at 3 PM in Malcolm X Park (16th St., NW and W St., NW) for a march. If you are interested in dropping off donations, a supply collection is happening in the park at 1 PM.

The organizers behind Moechella are bringing a go-go caravan to Black Lives Matter Plaza at 4 PM, and marching to 14th and U Street. The event features performances by go-go bands TCB, TOB, UCB, and more.

Thirty-eight interfaith places of worship will hold vigils for George Floyd at 5 PM. At 5:45 PM, participating locations will toll bells for eight minutes and 46 seconds, the amount of time the police officer’s knee was on George Floyd’s neck.

Bang pots and pans at home as part of a cacerolazo from 7 PM to 7:09 PM. The sonic protest stops for a moment of silence for George Floyd from 7:09 PM to 7:10 PM.

Back Yard Band and EU are performing at a protest organized by go-go movement #Don’tMuteDC. The 3 PM protest starts at Shaw’s Metro PCS store (1915 7th St., NW).

Virtual Events 

The National Museum of African American History & Culture is celebrating Juneteenth with a dive into the past on the museum’s website. Learn how to trace your ancestry in an online workshop and explore historic recipes from the Sweet Home Café.

In addition to their in-person protest, #Don’tMuteDC kicks off a day of a day of virtual programming at 12 PM. Livestreams cover topics like incarceration, and the day ends with a digital after-party.

Step Afrika is streaming a Juneteenth dance program on Facebook and YouTube at 8 PM. You may spot some familiar sites: The dance performances are filmed at landmarks around DC.

Jam out with ensemble Sweet Honey and the Rock live at the Lincoln Theatre at 8 PM. Proceeds from the $19 tickets go to the Equal Justice Initiative, and allow audience members to have an interactive experience complete with a digital red carpet.





Daniella Byck
Lifestyle Editor

Daniella Byck joined Washingtonian in 2022. She was previously with Outside Magazine and lives in Northeast DC.