For well over a century, Juneteenth has been celebrated across the nation with independent observances. Minnesota is no different. Minnesota was the fourth state to recognize Juneteenth as a state holiday and is proud of our Juneteenth history.. Celebrations nationwide run the gamut from day events to weekend and week-long festivities that include community outreach, great food and pageantry. One of the holiday’s hallmarks is the Miss Juneteenth extravaganzas, where one teenager is crowned Miss Juneteenth for her city, region, or state. For the first time ever, Minnesota has an official Miss Juneteenth, and her name is DaMaris Marjett Jones.
DaMaris is a senior at Coon Rapids High school in Coon Rapids, MN. She is also the great-granddaughter of radio personality and community servant Alice Lucille McKinney Ramsey and the daughter of DaMark and Angel Jones. DaMaris was selected to be Miss Juneteenth by the Minnesota chapter of the National Juneteenth Observance Foundation. For the next year, she will serve as Miss Juneteenth Minnesota at public events with a platform focused on Sickle Cell Anemia Awareness. Both of her parents share the trait and sickle cell runs in her family. Her goal is to spread awareness of the malady that largely affects African Americans and advocate for more research funding.
In October, DaMaris will compete for the national Miss Juneteenth crown in Texas. She will showcase her talent, which is singing. She has been singing since in diapers and is one of the youngest members of the adult choir at Kingdom Life Church under the leadership of Pastor David Keaton.
The general public is urged to support DaMaris with their donations, which will go towards her travel and for other related expenses. Contact Lee Henry Jordan Founder of Juneteenth Speaks, and Minnesota State Director for the National Juneteenth Observance Foundation by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org for more details.
DaMaris Marjett Jones Family Bio:
DaMaris Marjett Jones was born and raised in Minneapolis, MN in 2005, to DaMark and Angel Jones. She has three brothers 28, 25, and 9, and an older sister, 27. The family also has a fur baby, Titan, who is spoiled rotten. DaMaris’ dad has been working for Best Buy for over 20 years and her mom has been in healthcare for 25 years. They have been happily married for over 20 years.
DaMaris is a student at Coon Rapids High school in Coon Rapids, MN. In high school, she is a part of the choir and maintains a GPA of 3.7. In Fall 2022, she will be entering her junior year. When not in school she is described as an amazing, energetic and outgoing teenager who loves to create through design, art, and makeup tutorials for herself and others. DaMaris is the great-grandchild of radio personality and civic leader Alice Lucille McKinney Ramsey who dedicated her life to helping KMOJ (The People’s Station) and The Glenwood Community Center. On July 17, 2000 Alice McKinney was presented a plaque for her leadership, compassion and commitment to the community, from the Alice McKinney Outdoor Job Fair Planning Committee.
DaMaris loves to sing and has been singing since in diapers, she is one of the youngest members of the adult choir at Kingdom Life Church under the leadership of Pastor David Keaton. She has a personal relationship with God and allows her faith to open doors for her gifts and talents. DaMaris is very family oriented, and she is very passionate about hanging out with her family and friends, learning to drive, working, growing, and enjoys learning new things every day.
She has the historical place of being crowned the state of Minnesota’s very first Miss Juneteenth. During her tenure, she will be supporting Sickle Cell Anemia Awareness.