One of Texas’ more outspoken liberal politicians, U.S. Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, will chair the 12th annual Texas Black Expo Juneteenth summer celebration in Houston this year.

“I am honored to work with Texas Black Expo to put forth meaningful action to celebrate cultural diversity, further educational and economic empowerment, encourage self-awareness and advocate for equality,” Lee is quoted as saying in a Tuesday press release.

“We’ve made great strides in America with regard to equal opportunity, but as evidenced by the Supreme Court’s decision to invalidate a critical section of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, it’s apparent there’s still work to be done.”

Juneteenth is a celebration commemorating the ending of slavery. On June 19, 1865, Union soldiers landed at Galveston with news that the enslaved were now free – two years after the Emancipation Proclamation had become official.

The press release states that more than 20,000 attendees are expected to attend TBE’s event, which will feature health and wellness expositions, entrepreneur workshops, business networking events, youth empowerment summits, entertainment shows and a small business marketplace.

TBE is a nonprofit organization with a mission to stimulate growth and development within urban communities by strengthening businesses, inspiring youth, and building better lives.

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