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2021 Juneteenth Symposium: Celebrating Black Joy, Hope, and Healing

U-M’s inaugural campus-wide Juneteenth Symposium will explore the theme of “Celebrating Black Joy, Hope, and Healing.” A partnership between U-M and the Ann Arbor Branch of the NAACP, this Juneteenth observance aims to celebrate and recognize the liberation of all Black people from slavery, made official by the emancipation on June 19, 1865, in Galveston, Texas. Juneteenth is also known as Freedom Day, Jubilee Day, Liberation Day, and Emancipation Day. It is celebrated throughout the nation and as a state holiday in Michigan. It is also officially observed in Ann Arbor.

Our hope is to bring together the U-M and Ann Arbor communities virtually to underscore the importance of Juneteenth and to ensure that all students, staff, faculty, and residents feel a deep sense of belonging. We hope you can join us for our celebration, while we advance our educational mission as a university and seek to collaborate, enrich, and empower the community in a longstanding annual tradition to promote Black liberation and excellence.

Friday, June 18: Closing

Links to all recordings:

Schedule of Events

June 14: Opening

10:00 a.m. Welcome

Gregory Thomas, Program Manager, Office of Academic Multicultural Initiatives

10:10 a.m. Territorial Acknowledgment

Abigail Eiler

10:15 a.m. Black National Anthem

Larry James Walker II, Worship and Creative Arts Pastor

10:20 a.m. Welcome and Opening Remarks

Susan M. Collins, Provost, University of Michigan

10:35 a.m. Libations

Elizabeth James, Program Associate, Department of Afroamerican and African Studies

10:45 a.m. History of Juneteenth

William Hampton, President, NAACP, Ann Arbor Branch

11:55 a.m. What’s Happening Next

Gregory Thomas, Program Manager, Office of Academic Multicultural Initiatives

June 15: African American History and Culture

10:00 a.m. Welcome

Gregory Thomas, Program Manager, Office of Academic Multicultural Initiatives

10:05 a.m. Praise Dance

Michelle Dennis

10:20 a.m. Musical Performance

Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church

10:30 a.m. Artist Talk

Tylonn J. Sawyer, Multidisciplinary Artist Educator and Curator

11:30 a.m. Musical Performance

Michigan Gospel Chorale

11:40 a.m. What’s Happening Next

Gregory Thomas, Program Manager, Office of Academic Multicultural Initiatives

June 16: Art and Culture

10:00 a.m. Welcome

Gregory Thomas, Program Manager, Office of Academic Multicultural Initiatives

10:05 a.m. Welcoming Remarks

Mike Solomon, Dean, Rackham Graduate School

10:10 a.m. Spoken Word

10:25 a.m. Articulations of Blackness, Black Life, and Black History in University of Michigan Museum of Arts’s Collections

Ozi Uduma, Assistant Curator of Global Contemporary Art, University of Michigan Museum of Art

11:00 a.m. Poem

monét cooper, Doctoral Student, Joint Program in English and Education

11:05 a.m. Transition and Break

11:20 a.m. Seven Last Words of the Unarmed

U-M Men’s Glee Club

11:45 a.m. What’s Happening Next

Gregory Thomas, Program Manager, Office of Academic Multicultural Initiatives

June 17: Racial Justice Call to Action

10:00 a.m. Welcome

Gregory Thomas, Program Manager, Office of Academic Multicultural Initiatives

10:05 a.m. Workshop 1: Showing Up for Racial Justice (SURJ) – White Fragility: How to Be Antiracist

A discussion about the practice of Anti-racism and the importance of allyship: topics discussed will include dismantling systems of oppression, advancing Black liberation, and other social justice principles.

Register for White Fragility: How to Be Antiracist

1:00 p.m. Workshop 2: A Seat at the Table: Knowing Your Worth and Candle Making Event

Association of Black Social Work Students (ABSWS)

A creative discussion event that explores how we can define Black Excellence through self-worth and self-care. It will feature a mindfulness and reflection candle-making activity.

Register for A Seat at the Table: Knowing Your Worth and Candle Making Event

2:00 p.m. Transition and Break

6:00 p.m. Workshop 3: Black Mental Health and Self-Care: Paint and Conversation

Association of Black Social Work Students (ABSWS) and Public Health Students

A conversation about the current state of mental health awareness in the Black Community: topics discussed will include mental health stigma in the Black Community, mental health resources for Black identifying individuals, and the importance of mindfulness through creative expression.

Register for Black Mental Health and Self-Care: Paint and Conversation

7:00 p.m. What’s Happening Next

Gregory Thomas, Program Manager, Office of Academic Multicultural Initiatives

June 18: Closing

10:00 a.m. Welcome

Gregory Thomas, Program Manager, Office of Academic Multicultural Initiatives

10:05 a.m. Introduction of Keynote Speaker

Dr. Katrina Wade-Golden, Deputy Chief Diversity Officer

10:10 a.m. Keynote Address

Dr. Robert Sellers, Chief Diversity Officer

10:40 a.m. Closing Remarks

Dr. Martino Harmon, Vice President of Student Life

June 19: Emancipation ≠ Freedom: Juneteenth Celebrate Freedom

10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. March (RAIN OR SHINE)

Participate in an in-person one mile community march from Fuller Park to Wheeler Park (map). The walk will pass along Riverside Park, across the Broadway Bridge to Summit Street before reaching Wheeler Park where there will be refreshments, conversation, and information.

1:00 p.m. Virtual Program

The Ann Arbor Branch of the NAACP and other event collaborators will present a Juneteenth virtual program that will be broadcast on CTN and viewable on YouTube. Visit the Ann Arbor parks www.a2gov.org/juneteenth for additional details or for the program link which will be available at noon on June 19.

Saturday’s events are co-sponsored by NAACP-Ann Arbor Branch, City of Ann Arbor, Protectors of Equality in Government, League of Women Voters-Ann Arbor Area, and the African American Cultural and Historical Museum of Washtenaw County.

Co-Sponsors

  • Rackham’s Strategic Action Lead Team
  • NAACP Ann Arbor Branch
  • Association of Black Social Work Students
  • Department of Afroamerican and African Studies
  • Center for Social Solutions

In Collaboration With

  • Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
  • CEW+ Women of Color Task Force

Other Campus Events

2021 Juneteenth Celebration

  • Event Details
  • Sponsored by the Women of Color Task Force
  • Friday, June 18
  • 8:30 a.m to 1:30 p.m.

EECS Juneteenth Celebration

  • Event Details
  • Sponsored by Electrical Engineering and Computer Science and Michigan Robotics
  • Friday, June 18
  • 1:00 to 2:00 p.m.

20 Things Everyone Should Know About Slavery

  • Event Details
  • Sponsored by the Center for Social Solutions
  • Friday, June 18
  • 2:00 to 3:30 p.m.

Black and Free: Exploring Liberation and Freedom in the 21st Century

  • Event Details
  • Sponsored by the National Center for Institutional Diversity
  • Friday, June 25
  • 12:00 to 1:30 p.m.

Juneteenth Symposium Planning Committee

Co-Chairs

  • Kianté J McKinley, M.S.W. Candidate
  • Ethriam Cash Brammer, Ph.D.

Committee Members

  • William Hampton
  • Chanise Holmes
  • Elizabeth James
  • LaTasha Mitchell
  • Darlene Ray-Johnson
  • Jazmine Rivas Dinkins
  • Doreen Tinajero