This time of year is especially close to my heart. Within my profession, there is not a day that goes by that I do not hear a story that changes the way I see the world. In Orlando especially, June is a time of remembrance and celebration.
It is a time when we celebrate National Homeownership Month, we celebrate Juneteenth in honor of the emancipation of the enslaved in the United States, and we celebrate Pride Month.
Home Ownership Month
In an unprecedented year of lockdowns, which were accompanied by homeschooling and more obstacles, the home has become more than just our own private sanctuary. It has become our gym, our school, and our office. While it has certainly not been easy, we have all created timeless moments and memories in our homes. Whether sharing meals with loved ones, enjoying time alone, or greeting your neighbors, National Homeownership Month is a time to celebrate these precious moments and think about what home really means.
As we celebrate home ownership, we also celebrate our freedom. Many people do not really understand the importance of Juneteenth. Juneteenth is celebrated each year on June 19th and it is the oldest nationally celebrated commemoration of the ending of slavery in the United States. This is not a recognition of the horrific practice of slavery in our nation, but rather a show of the strength of the American spirit to continually work to do better and to make our world a better place for future generations.
Every June, we also celebrate Pride Month. Pride Month is a time to recognize the impact that LGBTQ+ individuals have had on our communities and our history. While celebrations often consist of parties, picnics, concerts, and other festivities, it is also important to think of those whose lives have been lost. In Orlando, June 12th is known as “Orlando United Day – A Day of Love and Kindness” in remembrance of the tragedy at the Pulse nightclub where 49 lives were lost. It is days like June 12th that remind us that our work is not done; we must continue to press forward and fight.
This month is filled with love, power, and pain. In June, I dare you to speak your truth, refuse to be silent, and stand for a cause you believe in. I challenge you to reaffirm your commitment to your families and your communities by celebrating your home, your freedom, and your compassion for others.
Together, we are PRIDE.
Candy Cole has worked with non-profits for more than 15 years and has a passion for giving back to the community. She has an MBA from the Crummer Graduate School of Business at Rollins College and a bachelor’s degree in Accounting from the University of Central Florida.