Journie is providing everything Rochester could want in a Juneteenth Jubilee.
The celebration at Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Park will include a presentation from the local chapter of the NAACP, a basketball tournament, and live music.
Various speakers, including police liaison Bud Whitehorn, Police Chief Jim Franklin, and City Council Rep. Kelly Kirkpatrick, will address attendees throughout the day.
Performers will include LaSonya Natividad and The Soul Train, Nock, Jae Havoc, Alertsleep, and Ryan the Artisan. DJ Casper, known for his hit “Cha-Cha Slide,” will also perform.
A Mr. and Miss Juneteenth will be crowned after a pageant. And the day will be rounded off with mask painting, musical chairs, and a bubble-blowing contest.
Juneteenth is celebrated across the nation to commemorate the end of slavery in the U.S. on June 19, 1865, in Galveston, Texas.
Organizers said the local celebration offers a way to acknowledge and work against the systematic atrocities and injustices that slavery brought to our country.
“I believe it’s important for all of the organizations who are coming together to put on this event to do so because we represent the Black community,” said Nashauna Johnson-Lenoir, founder and program director for the nonprofit Journie, which is hosting the event.
She encouraged the community to support Journie and the event by purchasing a Juneteenth T-shirt. She said 50% of the sales from the shirts, created by Wear Local, will go to support youth programming in the fall.
Johnson-Lenoir started Journie in 2010 as a pilot program for the Rochester Boys & Girls Club. Later, the group branched off, becoming a nonprofit under the umbrella of the Rochester Diversity Council. She said Journie is intended to prepare youth for life and leadership through mentorship.
That includes creating better employment opportunities for youth and helping get their driver's permits.
The Juneteenth Jubilee helps support Journie’s goals by offering young participants the chance to volunteer and network.
“As a culture, we celebrate Juneteenth by educating the community about our history and how far we've come as a race of people, and also provide people of color opportunities like advertising their businesses at the event and providing information on different resources that may be available to help them become more successful in life,” Johnson-Lenoir said.
If you go
What: Juneteenth Jubilee Celebration
When: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, June 19
Where: Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Park, 1738 E. Center St., Rochester