What an honor and privilege for Dr. Slonim to be in the company of the “Grandmother of Juneteenth,” Opal Lee, at the WNBA Dallas Wings game, Friday, August 4, 2023.
Fort Worth, Texas native Opal Lee has seen a lot of history in her 96 years. She lived through the Great Depression, World War II and the U.S. Civil Rights Movement. Lee is a dedicated activist who has spent decades working to get Juneteenth recognized as a national holiday.
The federal holiday commemorates June 19, 1865, when Union soldiers arrived in Galveston, Texas, to enforce the Emancipation Proclamation, signed earlier by President Abraham Lincoln, which freed enslaved people. In June 2021 legislation to make Juneteenth a federal holiday was passed by Congress and signed into law by President Biden. Lee, by then known as the “Grandmother of Juneteenth,” was invited to the White House signing ceremony, where she received a standing ovation.
“Grandmother of Juneteenth” Opal Lee is one of the Nancy Liberman Women of Inspiration Awards’ inaugural recipients. Ms. Opal was named the Community Woman of Inspiration Award winner, Cynt Marshall was named the Trailblazer Woman of Inspiration Award winner and Monica Paul was named the Businesswoman of Inspiration winner.
Congratulations to these inspiring women!!