4 pm, Friday, June 16
Municipal Services Center, 3600 Tremont Road
We invite you to join members of City Council, the Community Relations Committee, and the City’s Administration on the Plaza of the Municipal Services Center for a UA Juneteenth recognition program and the raising of the Juneteenth flag.
The ceremony will feature keynote speaker, Rita Fuller-Yates, an acclaimed Columbus Author and Historian. Among her many accomplishments, Fuller-Yates has served as an Art History Professor for the Columbus College of Art and Design, as the resident Lifestyle Expert for WSYX 6, FOX 28 and WBNS 10TV local news affiliates, and as host of a weekly interactive TV show, “History In da Streetz,” where she takes viewers on a journey to discover African American history within the streets of Columbus. She currently serves on the Columbus Landmarks Board of Trustees and the Columbus Historical Society Board.
The City’s 2022 Community Relations Award recipient, Reita Smith, will also be in attendance to raise the Juneteenth flag at the close of the ceremony.
Light refreshments will be available in the Concourse Gallery, with an opportunity for guests to view the YWCA’s Undesign the Redline exhibit, on view in the Gallery through July 1. Additionally, the Upper Arlington Library will host a Juneteenth resource table.
Juneteenth is an annual holiday that commemorates the emancipation of enslaved African Americans in the US. Juneteenth was first recognized and celebrated on June 19, 1865 in Galveston, Texas, when African-Americans were informed of their freedom and that the Civil War had ended. The holiday has since received its name by combining June and 19, it is also referred to as Liberation Day, Black Independence Day, and Freedom Day.
In 2021, the President signed legislation establishing Juneteenth as the newest federal holiday since the recognition of Martin Luther King Jr.’s Birthday. Many municipalities and communities around the US take this time to commemorate and celebrate this important day in history – to not only reflect on the impacts of this part of American history, but to consider the steps toward liberation that have been and continue to be achieved through building relationships based on trust, consistency and accountability. Recognition of Juneteenth also represents a commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion, and support of the Black community.
Juneteenth is celebrated with red, black, and green – the colors of the Pan-African flag. This particular flag honors the mass dispersion of African people during the Transatlantic Slave Trade from the 1500s to the 1800s (African Diaspora) and symbolizes Black independence and freedom.
To learn more about Juneteenth, click here.
The City will observe Juneteenth on Monday, June 19, with City offices closed for the day. The community’s Solid Waste collection schedule will not be affected by this holiday.