Celebrating and commemorating Juneteenth

Iowa State is involved in events in Ames and Des Moines to celebrate and commemorate Juneteenth. Juneteenth refers to June 19, 1865, the day the last enslaved people in Texas learned they were free -- more than two and a half years after the Emancipation Proclamation had abolished slavery in the Confederate states.

An ISU link to Juneteenth

How Senior VP Toyia Younger's cousin Opal helped make Juneteenth a national holiday

Last year, President Joe Biden signed into law Juneteenth as an annual federal holiday. Iowa has marked this day of recognition since 2002, designating the third Saturday in June as Juneteenth National Freedom Day.

Ames celebration

A Saturday, June 18, Juneteenth celebration at Ames' Bandshell Park (Duff Avenue and 6th Street) is open to the public. The schedule includes family activities and food vendors (3-7 p.m.), a line dance party (6-8 p.m.) and a Black superhero movie screening at 8 p.m. The celebration is sponsored by several community partners, including the City of Ames, Ames chapter of the NAACP, ISU's Black Faculty and Staff Association and Iowa State University. More information is available on the Ames NAACP chapter's website.

Des Moines-area celebration

Learn more

From this message of inclusion by Sharon Perry Fantini, vice president for diversity, equity and inclusion, you can explore the university library Juneteenth guide and share your knowledge with others.

The Des Moines Urban Experience is coordinating numerous events and activities in Des Moines and surrounding suburbs June 2-20, including music and theater performances, book drive, "Virtually Free" documentary screening and the 32nd annual Neighbor's Day festival on Saturday, June 18 (11 a.m.-11 p.m., Western Gateway Park). Senior vice president for student affairs Toyia Younger will co-host the Juneteenth Gospel Celebration on Sunday, June 12 (6 p.m., doors open at 4 p.m., Franklin Junior High, 4801 Franklin Ave,). The full schedule of events for the metro observance is online.