PORTLAND — The State Theatre & Coded by Young Women of Color, a Portland-based non-profit that educates young Women of Color in emerging tech, are excited to announce their upcoming event, Juneteenth! at the State Theatre. The performance will stream from the State Theatre’s Facebook page on Saturday, June 19 at 8 pm. 

Juneteenth is an important holiday in the Black community, marking the day news of the Emancipation Proclamation reached rural Texas – two years after Abraham Lincoln’s announcement. CYWOC founder Janay Woodruff, who also performs as Janaesound, organized the event for the first time last year in the early days of the pandemic and amid global Black Lives Matter protests that demanded justice for the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and other Black men and women at the hands of police. Woodruff wanted to showcase the talent of local Black musicians while raising money for organizations that empower Portland’s Black Community. 

“We are so grateful to everyone who tuned in last year and donated what they could to support Portland’s Black Community –– I was blown away by the response, and I felt hope for the first time in a long time,” said Woodruff. She says she’s excited for year two: “It’s amazing what we can accomplish when we all come together.”

This year’s event will include performances by Black musicians and performers: Janaesound, Mosart212, Ali Ali, and Rodney Mashia, a Biddeford-based musician who also performed last year. 

“As a Black man, I felt blessed to be given the opportunity to help bring awareness of the significance of Juneteenth,” said Mashia. “I feel honored to be asked to perform again. And with the waning of the pandemic – though I am aware that we are far from being out of the woods – my hope is that we will all have more emotional, spiritual, and physical bandwidth.”

Juneteenth! is free to stream but donations are welcome. This year’s performance will benefit CYWOC as it kicks off its pilot program, supporting ten young Women of Color through a 350-hour coding boot camp, followed by resume-building and staff augmentation opportunities with local tech partners. While demand for tech workers continues to rise dramatically in the United States, representation in its workforce remains predominantly white and male. Reports show that Women of Color make up roughly 5% of the tech workforce, and for Black women, that number is even lower, at 2%. CYWOC aims to change those numbers while also addressing a major labor shortfall. 

Event Details: 

What: Juneteenth! at the State Theatre

When: Saturday | June 19th, 2021 | 8 pm

Where: State Theatre FB Page: https://www.facebook.com/events/648627616538238/

Who: CYWOC, State Theatre & performers: Janaesound, Rodney Mashia, Ali Ali, and Mosart212.

Blurb: Join us on Saturday, June 19th, 2021 at 8 pm on the State Theatre, Portland, Maine’s Facebook page for Juneteenth! a streamed concert pre-recorded live from the empty State Theatre. Now in its second year, the annual Juneteenth! celebration showcases the talent of local Black musicians while raising money for organizations that empower Portland’s Black Community. 

This year’s event features Janaesound, Rodney Mashia, Ali Ali, and Mosart212. It will benefit Coded by Young Women of Color (CYWOC), a Portland-based non-profit that aims to educate and empower young Women of Color in emerging tech.