Mayor Fischer announces Juneteenth Jubilee Celebration’s theme and expanded lineup of events for 2022
16-member commission and community partners organizing activities honoring Juneteenth and its historical significance
Mayor Greg Fischer today joined members of the Juneteenth Jubilee Celebration Commission and representatives from Waterfront Park, Reviving Urban Neighborhoods, Inc., Lean Into Louisville and Presbyterian Church USA to announce a variety of citywide events planned next month to highlight the historical significance of Juneteenth.
This year’s celebration expands on last year’s inaugural celebration and will be held June 11-19. Many of the events will be free and open to the public.
Juneteenth is the oldest known holiday commemorating the final communication of the abolition of slavery in the United States. Observed every year on June 19, the holiday originated in Galveston, Texas, in 1865, when soldiers gave residents notice of the end of slavery, nearly two years after the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation. In June 2020, Mayor Fischer signed an executive order recognizing the day as an official holiday for Louisville Metro Government (LMG) workers, and early the next year, he established a 16-member Juneteenth Jubilee Celebration Commission to design an annual celebration here.
The commission includes representatives from the Metro Council, the business community, arts, educational and faith institutions, and others. Commission members have worked for months on this year’s weeklong celebration, whose theme is “Our Story, America’s Glory.”
“Our dedicated commissioners and community partners have been tirelessly working on providing educational and creative outlets to honor the importance of Juneteenth,” the Mayor said. “I truly appreciate their partnership and their thoughtful organization of this special week of activities.”
Juneteenth Jubilee Commissioner and Metro Councilwoman Paula McCraney, District 7, said, “I strongly believe our lineup of events perfectly reflects this year’s theme, ‘Our Story, America’s Glory.’ We wanted a theme that honors our history and helps to bring unity in our communities. Juneteenth is more crucial now than ever because it represents the diversity, equity, inclusion, and jubilant celebration that most communities yearn.”
Returning this year will be a five-day Juneteenth Day Camp hosted by Louisville Visual Art (LVA) and Waterfront Park, beginning on Monday, June 13. Campers, ages 7-12, will meet each morning for visual art instruction and activities on a covered outdoor patio overlooking the river, said Waterfront Development Director Ashley Smith.
“We’re excited to welcome young participants to tap into their artistic side and expand their imaginations. Art has been known to reduce stress and boost mental health, and we are thrilled to hold this art camp in a beautiful and safe location during Juneteenth,” Smith said. “We want kids to fully express themselves and be able to connect with the celebration’s historical importance.”
The Louisville Metro Human Relations Commission (HRC) will host its 60th Anniversary/Juneteenth Luncheon at 11 a.m. on Thursday, June 16 at the Kentucky Center for African American Heritage. Mayor Fischer will speak, along with keynote speaker, Dr. Corrie Shull, senior pastor of Burnett Avenue Baptist Church. The cost to attend will be $25 per person.
The Human Relations Commission is very proud to be celebrating the 60th anniversary of civil law enforcement, education, and outreach in the community at its luncheon. We are so proud of this work, highlighting how far we have come as a society, as well as the continued fight for diversity, equity, and inclusion in Louisville Metro,” said the Office of Equity Chief Michael Meeks, who oversees the HRC. “This anniversary luncheon will showcase our collective history, celebrate our tremendous progress, and highlight some of the magnificent contributions to our society by African Americans.”
Reviving Urban Neighborhoods (R.U.N.), Inc will host a Youth Jamboree from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, June 18. R.U.N. is a nonprofit organization with a mission to improve Louisville's urban community by generating and supporting opportunities for people to enhance their lives, said cofounder Brandon Hill. Jamboree events include booths where young people can win prizes by demonstrating their knowledge of Juneteenth facts.
“Juneteenth is a date of major significance in American history and represents the ways in which freedom for Black people have been delayed,” Hill said. “Many of our youth won't know what Juneteenth is, as it hasn't historically been part of the normal curriculum that they learn about in schools in the city of Louisville. This event provides them with healthy activities and fun, all while learning the significance and importance of the Juneteenth holiday.”
Another Juneteenth event is a run/walk on Saturday, June 18 at the Norton Healthcare Sports and Learning Center that focuses on mental and physical health, in honor of one of the global symbols for racial justice, Breonna Taylor. Taylor was 26 when she died in Louisville on March 13, 2020, and the Future Ancestors’ Race for Justice encourages runners to honor her life by running or walking 26 laps as a team or individually.
Future Ancestors’ Executive Director Nubia Ali said the event allows the upcoming generation to be heard and respected at the intersection of love, justice and compassion. “This event is more than a project,” Ali said. “It is going to unite and educate our community, as well as ones near and far as to what it looks like when justice is received.”
The local Juneteenth celebration’s events will be capped off with an inspirational hybrid service sponsored by The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A) at 11 a.m., on Sunday, June 19. Along with special selections of music and scripture, the Rev. Dr. J. Herbert Nelson, II, Stated Clerk of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) will deliver the service, honoring the importance of Juneteenth.
Here’s a larger look at events planned by the Juneteenth Commission:
June 11 – First Tee Louisville’s 22nd annual George “GG” Johnson Golf Scramble, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., Shawnee Golf Course
Lunch will begin at 11 a.m. with raffle prizes to win. The four-person scramble (three adults and one first tee participant) will tee off at 1 p.m. Register at firstteelouisville.org or contact [email protected].
June 13-June 17, Juneteenth Camp, Louisville Visual Art and Waterfront Park, 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Louisville Visual Art and Waterfront Park are hosting a day camp for youth ages 7-12. Campers will be introduced to the works and history of Ed Hamilton, Muhammad Ali, the Underground Railroad and more, then create their own artworks to express themselves and their newfound knowledge; in the afternoons, campers will explore Waterfront Park for fun camp activities. Limited to 10 students.
June 13-14 – WAVE Country with Dawne Gee, 2 p.m. WAVE-TV anchor and reporter Dawne Gee will discuss Juneteenth highlights and moderate panel discussions.
June 14 – Lean Into Louisville, Redistricting Panel Discussion, 6:30 p.m.
Mayor Fischer will greet and introduce a diverse panel that will address and examine why redistricting happens, who it helps, harms, and short-term/long-term implications. MetroTV and Lean Into Louisville will livestream the event on social media.
June 15 – Lean Into Louisville, Presentation: The Kentucky African American Civil War Soldiers Project, First Gethsemane Baptist Church, 12 p.m.
The Kentucky African American Civil War Soldiers Project seeks to uncover archival documents about the lives of these soldiers and their family members, and use them as the basis for constructing family trees going as far backward and forward as possible. Dan Gediman and Denyce Peyton will share stories and photographs about selected soldiers from Louisville, as well as discuss their newly created searchable online database.
June 16 – The Louisville Metro Human Relations Commission Celebrates 60th Anniversary/Juneteenth Luncheon, Kentucky Center for African American Heritage Center, 11 a.m.
The luncheon will celebrate HRC’s achievements in safeguarding all individuals within Jefferson County from all forms of discrimination. The Mayor will speak, along with keynote speaker, Rev. Dr. Daniel Corrie Shull, senior pastor of Burnett Avenue Baptist Church. The cost to attend will be $25 per person.
June 16 – Miss Juneteenth Pageant, Fourth Street Live, 1 to 5 p.m.
WLLV and WLOU will host the inaugural Miss Juneteenth Pageant at Fourth Street Live. The inaugural pageant will feature 30 contestants. The Mayor is expected to crown the winners.
June 17 - Agape Day, Dare to Care & National Panhellenic Council Louisville, 7:30 a.m. to 11 a.m.
Local Divine 9 Black Greek fraternities and sororities will partner with Dare to Care to deliver food to communities.
June 17 – Juneteenth Jubilee Celebration: Our Story, America’s Glory Inaugural Gala, The Muhammad Ali Center, 6 p.m.
Mayor Fischer will speak at the red-carpet gala that will feature dinner, spoken word by Hannah Drake and special performances by the Dr. Jerry Tolson Orchestra, Syreeta Thompson “Trumpet Lady” and Donna & The Atone Band. WAVE3’s Dawne Gee, a Juneteenth Jubilee commissioner, will emcee the event. Tickets can be purchased for $150 at juneteenthlou.com or for more information, email [email protected].
June 18 – “Race for Justice” by Future Ancestors, Norton Healthcare Sports and Learning Center, 8 a.m.
Participants will honor Breonna Taylor by running or walking 26 laps as team, one for every year she was alive, or by walking/running a 1.3-mile individual race; she was killed on March 13th.
June 18 – Juneteenth Youth Jamboree, Berrytown Park, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Reviving Urban Neighborhoods (R.U.N.), Inc. will host a fun-filled family event where youths can win prizes by demonstrating their knowledge of Juneteenth facts.
June 19 – Presbyterian Church USA, hybrid service, 11 a.m.
The Rev. Dr. J. Herbert Nelson, II, Stated Clerk of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) will be preaching at the service. The service can be viewed by visiting: https://ga-pcusa.org or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/spiritofga
For more information about the Juneteenth Jubilee Celebration, please visit juneteenthlou.com