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Ohio University to commemorate Juneteenth with community events

Published: June 6, 2022 Author: Staff reports

Ohio University will host its second annual Juneteenth Celebration on Saturday, June 18, with community events scheduled throughout the day for the OHIO community.

Juneteenth is celebrated on June 19 every year. Long celebrated by the African American community, this historical day is mostly unknown to many Americans.

According to the National Museum of African American History and Culture, Juneteenth marks the day when 2,000 Union troops arrived in Galveston, Texas, to free more than 250,000 enslaved Black people in the state on June 19, 1865. This occurred two and a half years after the Emancipation Proclamation took effect on Jan. 1, 1863, as implementation generally depended on the advance of Union troops to Confederate-controlled places. The most remote slavery state, Texas, was one of the last states to abandon chattel slavery. Only through the Thirteenth Amendment, ratified near the end of 1865, did emancipation end slavery throughout the entire United States.

Events for the Juneteenth Celebration, hosted by OHIO’s Division of Diversity and Inclusion, will start out with a Health Walk starting at 10 a.m. outside of the fourth floor of Baker University Center. This year’s Health Walk will include a Black History Tour of Downtown Athens.

The chairs for the 2021 Juneteenth Celebration are Travis Gatling, artistic director in the School of Dance, and Vanessa Morgan-Nai, Assistant Director of D&I Programs in the Division of Diversity and Inclusion.

“We are proud to be a part of this historically significant celebration dating back to 1865,” Gatling and Morgan-Nai said. “We look forward to joining alumni, friends, colleagues, and members of the Athens community for Ohio University’s second annual Juneteenth event – Education Through Celebration: Our History, Our Hope.”

A Juneteenth Festival, with live music, food and services vendors, celebratory remarks and children’s activities, is set from 3 to 6 p.m. on OHIO’s College Green. Participants are asked to bring a personal hygiene item or beauty product to donate. All donated items will be available to OHIO students of color via the Being Black in College program.

Ohio University divisions/units/departments or community organizations interested in being a sponsor for this year’s celebration can contact bungard@ohio.edu.

For more information about Juneteenth, the schedule of events as well as registration links, visit www.ohio.edu/diversity/juneteenth-celebration