The oldest worldwide celebration to commemorate the ending of slavery in the Unites States happens on June 19, with daytime and evening events
Estrella Mountain Community College (EMCC), one of the Maricopa Community Colleges, is honored to hold its first celebration of Juneteenth, a historical event that dates to 1865 when Union soldiers arrived in Galveston, Texas, and announced that the war was over and enslaved peoples were now free. This was two years after Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863. The college hosts day and evening programs that will include traditional festivities, including guest speakers, music performances, and food. Both events are free and open to students and the community.
Daytime Program: 12:00 – 2:30 p.m. Monday, June 19, in the Montezuma Hall Center for Teaching and Learning
Evening Program: 6:00 – 9:00 p.m. Monday, June 19, in the Performing Arts Center
Both events are held on the Estrella Mountain Community College Campus, 3000 N. Dysart Road, in Avondale, Ariz.
The daytime event features a reading of the Emancipation Proclamation, and a solo musician who will sing a rendition of “Swing Low, Sweet Chariot.” The guest speaker for this early round of the celebration is Reverend Jarrett Maupin, a locally based minister, political consultant, and civil rights activist. Maupin has garnered media attention for his commitment to raising awareness about human rights issues, as well as his development and facilitation of advocacy-related events that present those issues to a broad audience. Maupin said that in addition to participating in the festivities, he will “lead a discussion on race, politics, and everything in between.” He is excited to address students and encourages their attendance and participation. The day program also includes singer Candice Chavez, an EMCC alumna, who will sing the national anthem, as well as songs that are reflective of Juneteenth and its importance. There will also be a barbecue lunch featuring traditional fare significant to rich history of the African American community.
The evening event includes light refreshments, additional performances from Chavez, and a poetry reading by Roberta Collins, an 11th grade student and award-winning poet from the Agua Fria Union High School District, and a musical performance by 8919 Productions. The evening program’s guest speaker is Dr. Rashad Shabazz, associate professor in the School of Social Transformation at Arizona State University. The educator and critical thinker is also the author of Spatializing Blackness: Architectures of Confinement and Black Masculinity in Chicago. The book is a geographic study how race and gender can be affected by the structure of the prison system.
These important guest speakers’ words and work parallel EMCC’s current 25th anniversary theme, “Achieving Dreams. Transforming Lives. Celebrating Success,” which exemplifies the college’s continued dedication to creating an inspiration and supportive learning environment for its students. Each speaker engages both professionally and personally in endeavors that extol the importance of studying and disseminating critical information that relates to human struggles and social justice issues.