20th NWA Juneteenth Celebration Set for Saturday, June 16

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – The Northwest Arkansas community is invited to join  the 20th annual Northwest Arkansas Juneteenth celebration from 3-7 p.m. Saturday, June 16, at The Gardens on the University of Arkansas campus, located on Razorback Road in Fayetteville. This event is free and open to the public.

Juneteenth commemorates the anniversary of African American emancipation, celebrates African American freedom and achievement and encourages continuous self-development and respect for all cultures.

The event will include live musical entertainment by jazz and R&B artist Michael Fields, hip-hop artist Michael Day and gospel artist Stephen Ivey. There will be a cookout, ice cream and family games. Family-friendly activities include large inflatables; “Run, Jump, Throw” sponsored by Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority Inc., Lambda Phi Sigma Alumnae Chapter; and a football toss, basketball shoot-out and other athletic activities hosted by the University of Arkansas Police Department.

Local vendors will display their products and explain their services. The NWA Community Clinic will also hold a health fair where medical and dental providers will conduct screenings to promote healthy living and address general medical questions.

The event has been organized by the University of Arkansas' African American Resource Group and the Juneteenth Celebration Committee.

Juneteenth, or the "19th of June," is the oldest nationally celebrated commemoration of the ending of slavery in the United States. It recognizes June 19, 1865, in Galveston, Texas, when Union Gen. Gordon Granger announced freedom for all slaves in the Southwest. This was the last major vestige of slavery in the United States following the end of the Civil War. This occurred more than two and a half years after the Emancipation Proclamation was issued by President Abraham Lincoln. Upon the reading of General Order No. 3 by Gen. Granger, the former slaves celebrated jubilantly, establishing America's second Independence Day Celebration and the oldest African-American holiday observance. In 2006, the Arkansas Legislature first recognized Juneteenth as a state memorial day commemorated by of a proclamation from Governor Huckabee.

The Northwest Arkansas Juneteenth Celebration is sponsored by: Wal-Mart, Tyson Foods, PepsiCo, Frito Lay, P&G, the Historic St. James Baptist Church, Penguin Ed’s, Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority Inc., KISS 105.3 Radio Station, ARVEST and the NWA Community Clinic.

U of A sponsors include the Division of Student Affairs, Office of Diversity and Inclusion for the Sam M. Walton College of Business, J. William Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences, Office for Diversity and Inclusion, African and African American Studies program, Office of Equal Opportunity and Compliance, College of Engineering, UAPD, Black Alumni Society and Arkansas Alumni Association.

For more information about the Northwest Arkansas Juneteenth Celebration, please visit the Juneteenth website or contact Danielle L. Williams or J’onnelle Colbert-Diaz at aarg@uark.edu.

About the University of Arkansas: The University of Arkansas provides an internationally competitive education for undergraduate and graduate students in more than 200 academic programs. The university contributes new knowledge, economic development, basic and applied research, and creative activity while also providing service to academic and professional disciplines. The Carnegie Foundation classifies the University of Arkansas among only 2 percent of universities in America that have the highest level of research activity. U.S. News & World Report ranks the University of Arkansas among its top American public research universities. Founded in 1871, the University of Arkansas comprises 10 colleges and schools and maintains a low student-to-faculty ratio that promotes personal attention and close mentoring.

Contacts

Danielle Williams, assistant vice chancellor and director
Office of Equal Opportunity and Compliance
479-575-4825, aarg@uark.edu

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