Heal America is proud to sponsor the first Juneteenth Unityfest, a live streamed virtual celebration of Black history and culture to remember our past, honor our progress, and commit to a more just future for everyone. Learn from the Rev. Dr. Buster Soaries, the co-chair of Heal America, about the real history of Juneteenth and how everyone has a role to play in a brighter future and the pursuit of equal justice.
Only inspired people can inspire people. To Heal America, I pledge to find inspiration from the following principles as I fight racial injustice with love and redemption…
- COURAGE is going from the sidelines to the frontlines of social change.
- JUSTICE is respecting the inherent dignity of each person by protecting their rights, equally.
- LOVE is believing there is good within every person.
- REDEMPTION is fiercely believing the future will be better than today.
Heal America is a movement to fight racial injustice with love and redemption. We elevate inspiring leaders who are removing legal, cultural, and social barriers to progress, and we provide the tools and networks for more people to become changemakers in their own communities. Everyone has a role to play. Let’s be relentless in our pursuit of solutions.
Bishop Omar Jahwar
Founder, Heal America, Urban Specialists
Bishop Omar Jahwar lived his life according to a single, powerful notion: Only inspired people can inspire people to be a part of change. The key? To focus on solutions – relentlessly. Although Bishop Omar’s life was cut short by complications from COVID-19, his vision to heal America is just getting started.
Co-Chair, Heal America
President, Urban Specialists
Would you have believed in Antong Lucky? Most would say no – including Antong himself, who founded the Dallas Bloods gang. But a few people said yes, which inspired him to turn his life around and emerge as a leader in the movement to heal America.
Rev. Buster Soaries, Jr.
Co-Chair, Heal America
Founder & CEO, dfree
Buster Soaries came of age in the days when Dr. King had a dream. Though only a teenager, the energy and excitement he saw in the freedom fighters of the 1960s inspired him to take a stand. He knew America’s ideals were worth fighting for. After 50 years he believes they are the solution to the problem of injustice – whatever form it takes.
Alice Marie Johnson
Author, After Life: My Journey From Incarceration to Freedom
Advocate, Grandmother, Reformer
Alice Marie Johnson received a living death sentence for a first-time, non-violent offense – until the president of the United States commuted her sentence. Now she’s working tirelessly to make sure that others caught in an unfair system get the justice they deserve.
Cortez “Tez” Bryant
Co-CEO Blueprint Group; COO Young Money Entertainment
Bishop Omar Jahwar saw something in Tez Bryant, who before he was 30 was already one of the most successful entertainment moguls in the world. It was something Tez had never seen in himself: that he, too, has a voice. And that he, too, could be the change he wanted to see.
How do you tackle one of the most divisive issues in American history? For Robert Randolph, one way is simple: Set it to music – and use it to unify. A Grammy-nominated artist, Robert’s latest creation is the Juneteenth Unityfest, a first-of-its-kind national livestream event bringing together people of all backgrounds with musical performances, films, comedy, storytelling, and appearances by civic leaders and influencers.
In searching for solutions to racial injustice, what can just one person really do? Leon Ford gets that question all the time. “My answer is simple. Lead with love,” he says. “Start compassionate conversations even with individuals and systems that have caused you pain.”
“I know from experience that you can make your pain purposeful.”
Vice President of Partnerships, Getty Images
For Cassandra Illidge, her experience growing up in New York was different from that of her parents. But not in the way you might assume. The History courses she attended in elementary and high school provided a limited depiction of Black history and culture, but her undergraduate and graduate studies exposed her to much more.
Executive Director, dfree
Tamika Stembridge doesn’t know how to solve every racial injustice. But she does know where every solution must start: with the people who personally experience it in their daily lives. That’s the key to Tamika’s daily fight against injustice. As executive director of the dfree® Financial Freedom Movement, she works with Black families facing barriers to financial security.