Press Releases

CAIR to Join Maryland Juneteenth Protest Against Desecration of African Burial Ground, Environmental Pollution

(BALTIMORE, MD, 6/16/21) – On Saturday, June 19, the Maryland office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights organization, will join other community and civil rights organizations at a protest and march to mark Juneteenth and to address the desecration of an African-American burial ground and continuing environmental pollution in Black communities.

WHEN: June 19, Noon to 4 p.m.

MEET UP: Macedonia Baptist Church, 5119 River Road, Bethesda, MD 20816

MARCH TO: 5204 River Road (1 block)

CONTACT: CAIR Office in Maryland Director Zainab Chaudry, 410-971-6062,

“Juneteenth should be not only a celebration of freedom, but also an opportunity to address continuing issues impacting minority communities,” said CAIR’s Maryland Director Zainab Chaudry.

“Montgomery County is building a monument to white supremacy in Bethesda over the graves of our tortured ancestors.  Even the KKK would not have desecrated African graves in daylight but Montgomery County and its officials sided with developers over the community.  What has been destroyed is irretrievable and their hate crime is unforgivable.” Dr. Marsha Coleman-Adebayo, President, Bethesda African Cemetery Coalition

“The Universal Negro Improvement Association (UNIA) calls for justice in the desecration of Moses Macedonia African Cemetery.  It’s shameful that Montgomery County officials are siding with developers in this racist and despicable act of disrespecting our ancestors.  We will remember the desecration when it comes time to vote.” Baba Mosi Matsimela, President, Woodsen-Banneker, Jackson Bey – UNIA, ACL Division 330 – RC2020


Hip Hop Artist – TONE P

Evergreen Productions, 

Nana Malaya Rucker, Ayomi

Dr. Karen Wilson Ama’Echefu, 

Andrea Hines, B.E. Farrow,

African Drummers and Dancers


Dr. Marsha Coleman-Adebayo, Bethesda African Cemetery Coalition (BACC)

Carroll R. Gibbs, Historian

Baba Mosi Matsimela, President, Woodson-Bannekar, Jackson Baye, Div. 33 – UNIA-ACL RC2020

Rev Segun Adebayo, Pastor, Macedonia Baptist Church, BACC

Mr. Harvey Matthews, Descendant, River Road Community

Senghor Jawara Baye, 1st Assistant President-General Government of the UNIA-ACL RC2020

Arthur McCloud, Chair, WPFW, Local Station Board

Melody Cooper, Mother of Kwamena Ocran, killed by Gaithersburg Police

Lennox Yearwood, Hip Hop Caucus

Dr. Jack Rasmussen, Director, The American University Museum, Katzen Arts Center

Dr. Zainab Chaudry, Director, CAIR Maryland Office

Josh Odintz, JD, Holland and Knight Law Firm

Dr. Mustafa Ali, V.P. National Wildlife Federation

Jeffrey Slavin, Mayor, Town of Somerset

Brandy Brooks, Candidate, Montgomery County Council – At Large

Perry Paylor, Candidate, State’s Attorney

Bernice Mireku North, Candidate, State’s Attorney

Gaithersburg City Councilmember Laurie-Anne Sayles, Candidate for Montgomery County Council At-Large

Ralph Wooden, BACC

Martha Peterson, BACC

Avery Smedley, MoCo Steps

David Mott, Poor People’s Campaign, Montgomery County

Howie Hawkins, 2020 Presidential Candidate, Green Party

Vanessa Till, BACC

Ari Gutman, BACC

Hanna Schwadron, Structures for Change

Dr. Dante O’Hara, Claudia Jones School, CP

Robert Stubberfield, BACC, DSA

Adam Simon, BACC, Anti-rrcist Coalition

Mia Carmel, BACC, Anti-Racist Coalition



United Negro Improvement Association (UNIA) Woodson-Bannekar, Jackson Baye, Div. 33 – UNIA-ACL RC2020

Maryland Green Party

Bethesda Anti-Racist Coalition

Hip Hop Caucus

United Negro Improvement Association – National

WPFW – 89.3 fm

Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR)

Poor People’s Campaign, Montgomery County

Claudia Jones School

Cameroun American Council

National Alliance Against Racial and Political Repression

Standing Up for Racial Justice

Earlier this month, CAIR welcomed news that Anne Arundel County has officially recognized Juneteenth as a county holiday for the first time. 

SEE: CAIR Welcomes Maryland County’s Historic Recognition of Juneteenth as Official Holiday

Yesterday, the National and Houston (CAIR-Houston) offices of CAIR hosted the first of two programs in honor of Juneteenth.

SEE: CAIR, CAIR-Houston Mark Juneteenth with Online Educational Program

In Virginia, CAIR has offered support for a demand to stay all development activity on African-American and Native American cemeteries and surrounding areas in the town of Thoroughfare, Va.

Video: CAIR Supports Protection for Historic Va. African-American, Native American Cemeteries


Juneteenth – also known as Freedom Day, Jubilee Day, Liberation Day, and Emancipation Day – is observed on June 19th annually. It marks the emancipation of those who had been enslaved in the United States, more than two years after the Emancipation Proclamation outlawed slavery. Originating in Galveston, Texas, it is now commemorated annually throughout the United States with increasing official recognition. While it is ceremonial rather than a national holiday, more localities are moving to add it to their calendar of official holidays. 

CAIR’s mission is to enhance understanding of Islam, protect civil rights, promote justice, and empower American Muslims.       

La misión de CAIR es proteger las libertades civiles, mejorar la comprensión del Islam, promover la justicia, y empoderar a los musulmanes en los Estados Unidos.  

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CONTACT: CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-744-7726,; CAIR Office in Maryland Director Zainab Chaudry, 410-971-6062,

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