Mesa Celebrates Juneteenth with Community Event

Leaders gather at MCC to commemorate the emancipation anniversary

MESA, Ariz. -- June, 17, 2024 -- The City of Mesa, Mesa Community College (MCC) and the Mesa-East Valley Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Committee (MLK) are hosting an inagural Juneteenth Celebration commemorating the emancipation of enslaved African Americans in the United States. The free event is June 19 from 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. at Mesa Community College, Southern and Dobson Campus. A brief program at 7:15 p.m. will include a City of Mesa proclamation commemorating Juneteenth.

"Mesa's diversity is one of the strengths of our community, and 'Im proud of the Citys work to advance issues of equity and ensure all people are treated fairly," said Mayor John Giles. "Juneteenth is a monumental event in the history of America that reminds us not to lose focus on those values. I'm very happy the City is partnering with the MLK Committee and MCC for the new community event, and Im pleased to proclaim June 19 as Juneteenth Celebration Day in Mesa."

The Juneteenth Proclamation commemorates the emancipation of enslaved African Americans. June 19 marks the anniversary of Texas being the last state to have President Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation announced in 1865, notifying enslaved people of their freedom.

"This Juneteenth proclamation carries the spirit of hope and an ongoing commitment to ensuring we all have the access and freedom to live, learn, earn, persevere and prosper in this society," said Keisha McKinnor, chair of the Mesa-East Valley Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration Committee. "It celebrates the amazing resiliency of Black Americans on our continual journey in the pursuit of liberty and equality."

This years theme, Rooted in Resilience, embodies the strength, determination and perseverance of Black communities throughout history. It acknowledges the challenges Black communities have overcome and the progress they continue to make. By embracing resilience, we honor the legacy of those who fought for freedom and justice while recognizing the ongoing struggles for equality and equity.

In 2016, Arizona became the 45th state to observe Juneteenth and declare it a holiday. In 2021, it became a federal holiday when President Biden signed the Juneteenth National Independence Day into law.

The Juneteenth celebration at MCC includes several activities and locations:

  • Special edition planetarium show Journey to Freedom: Navigating by the Stars
  • Kids Zone with games
  • Health screenings
  • MCCs acclaimed DJ music performance
  • Arts and Culture vendors
  • Food trucks and more!

To make it easier for the public to participate, Lyft is offering a $10 discount on rides to the event for the first 100 users. Use the code MESAJUNETEENTH when booking the ride. This is valid only on June 19 for trips to and from Mesa Community College.

More information about the Juneteenth celebration is available at mesaevmlk.org/juneteenth.html.

# # #

City of Mesa media contact: Kevin Christopher, 480-644-4699, kevin.christopher@mesaaz.gov

Source Details

Source: 
Publication Date: 
Monday, June 17, 2024