Juneteenth National Independence Day was celebrated at Bergen New Bridge Medical Center (BNBMC) in Paramus with a flag raising ceremony on June 19 and a vendor fair featuring Black-owned businesses on June 20.
What is Juneteenth
Juneteenth — celebrated annually on June 19 — is a federal holiday beginning in 2021. It commemorates the emancipation of enslaved African Americans.
“Today is a day of celebration of freedom but is also a moment for all of us to recommit to building a safer, stronger, more equitable tomorrow for all Black Americans and communities of color,” said Deborah Visconi, President & CEO, Bergen New Bridge Medical Center.
“We still have work to do to ensure Black Americans have equality and equity in all aspects of life starting with access to quality and affordable healthcare and including housing, food security, education and employment,” Visconi added.
The Celebration at New Bridge
Bergen County Sheriff Anthony Cureton was at the event, as well Assemblywoman Lisa Swain, Englewood Councilman Kevin Wilson, Bergen County NAACP President Jeff Carter, Bergen New Bridge Medical Center Chaplain Bishop Charles Singletary, Bergen New Bridge Medical Center QIP/Clinical integration Manager Lisa Polak-Dean, and other dignitaries.
“It’s important that we all work together to fix the ills of not only New Jersey but the entire country because none of us are free until all of us are free,” said Carter. “Love will always conquer hate and darkness will always find light, so let’s continue to do the good work we’ve been doing.”
As a member of BNBMC’s DEI Committee, Polak-Dean helps drive the initiatives “that embrace and enhance diversity, equity, and inclusion,” she said.
“Juneteenth is a reminder of our past, but it is also an opportunity to take a moment to respect our cultures and imagine a future of inclusion and belonging standing together in solidarity to pursue a society where everyone can thrive and flourish,” Polak-Dean added.
About Bergen New Bridge
BNBMC, a clinical affiliate of Rutgers, is a 1,070-bed hospital located at 230 East Ridgewood Ave. in Paramus, NJ. It is the largest hospital and licensed nursing home in the state, and the fourth largest, publicly owned hospital in the country. A not-for-profit safety net facility, BNBMC provides high-quality comprehensive services, including acute and ambulatory care, mental health and substance use disorder treatment, long-term care, 24/7 emergency department, surgical suites, physical rehabilitation, pharmacy, laboratory, and radiologic services (including digital mammography).