Our History

Conquering Our Past

Commemorating Our Present

Committing to Our Future

Since 1955, St. Joseph Missionary Baptist Church has been engaging the East Garfield Park community in as many ways as possible - from providing food and clothing, financial education and voter registration, to tutoring and youth programs. As much as it is the church's foundational principle to serve and love others, being in one of the toughest and most disenfranchised neighborhoods in Chicago truly necessitates this type of influence.

In 2014, recognizing that East Garfield Park often only makes the local news for negative reports, two leaders at St. Joseph, Adrienne Hawkins-Turner and former pastor Rev. Donald McFadden, Sr. decided to take an active role to change that narrative by publicly celebrating Juneteenth. Juneteenth - an indication of the end of slavery in the United States - was the perfect opportunity to bring positive energy to this community and to the city of Chicago. At the time, Juneteenth wasn't known to many, but they soon changed that! A boisterous parade with people on foot, in cars, on floats and horses, waving flags and honking horns, followed by a picnic with free food, education, and entertainment has been an annual event that celebrates all that's great about the African American experience.

The Chicago Juneteenth Project was later developed to extend the spirit of that parade beyond just a single day of community engagement. The purpose of this 501(c)(3) organization is to deliver programs and resources throughout the year that support technology enablement, educational advancement, life skills, and wellness to residents of Chicago’s West Side.