Continuing Our Collective Journey Towards Liberation: From Juneteenth to the Black Panther Party

As two women celebrate Juneteenth in its third year as a federal holiday, they reflect on their legacy as creators and inheritors of the Black Panther Party’s mission to “serve the people—body and soul.”

Jilchristina Vest is the homeowner and curator of theWomen of the Black Panther Party Mural which graces the exterior of her house inWest Oakland. Born in Chicago in 1966, the year of the birth of the Black Panther Party, she moved to the Bay area in 1995. She earned degrees in Black Studies,Women’s Studies and Multicultural Education. As a lifelong educator and activist, Jilchristina Vest is motivated by love of community and deep appreciation for the women of the Black Panther Party.
Rev. Cheryl Dawson, M.A., M.Div. (she/her) began her lifetime of community service in the Black Panther Party. Today she continues on that path of service as a minister who offers workshops, classes and sermons for women impacted by incarceration.