June 12, 2023

Warriors in the Community, episode 9: Celebrating Juneteenth

WWJ Newsradio 950

Warriors in the Community is a radio segment that features short, insightful interviews with key figures from Wayne State University about the many ways in which the university and its programs make a positive impact on the metro area and on the lives of Detroiters.

In our ninth episode, Marquita Chamblee, Ph.D., Associate Provost for Diversity and Inclusion and Chief Diversity Officer, talks about the upcoming weeklong Juneteenth celebration that WSU will be sponsoring for both the community and the campus. Declared a federal holiday in 2021, Juneteenth is officially celebrated on June 19, the day in 1865 when Union soldiers arrived in Galveston, Texas, to enforce the Emancipation Proclamation, which had been ratified two years prior. To celebrate the holiday, WSU will from June 12 to June 20 host a keynote lecture, a panel discussion and an art exhibit, among other events. 


Intro: This is “Warriors in the Community” brought to you by Wayne State University, and now to learn about how Wayne State is positively impacting our community, here is Darrell Dawsey.

Darrell Dawsey: Today I'm with Marquita Chamblee, Ph.D., Associate Provost for Diversity and Inclusion and Chief Diversity Officer. She's here to talk with us today about Wayne State's community-wide celebration, the approaching Juneteenth holiday.

Give our listeners a brief overview of the history behind the Juneteenth holiday.

Marquita Chamblee: Juneteenth is also referred to as Freedom Day or Emancipation Day. And so on June 19th, the last enslaved African Americans were told that they had been freed under the Emancipation Proclamation.

Marquita Chamblee
Marquita Chamblee, Ph.D., Associate Provost for Diversity and Inclusion and Chief Diversity Officer.

Darrell Dawsey: Why should we as a nation celebrate Juneteenth? And more specifically, why does Wayne State acknowledge and celebrate the holiday?

Marquita Chamblee: I think it's important that we as a nation celebrate Juneteenth as a reminder, sometimes a reminder that we don't want of our history and some of the darker elements of our history, but it's important to recognize. Both the, the tragedy of slavery, but also the resilience and celebration that happens as a refult of this, this emancipation.

Darrell Dawsey: Can you share some more notable Juneteenth events that Wayne State will be sponsoring that are coming up?

Marquita Chamblee: We are really excited that we celebrate Juneteenth for the entire week. On June 13th, we have a keynote speech by Professor Ronald Williams of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

We'll be speaking on the topic on Juneteenth Black Struggle, black Freedom and Black Restitution. And then on Wednesday the 14th, we'll have an arts showcase that features black art, and then the organization of black alumni is having a panel event on June 15th. We have a variety of events that are happening with the closing happening on June 20th, right after the holiday when we'll be lowering the flag and we'll have a big picnic and have a big celebration for, for the holiday that just passed.

For people who wanna participate and find out more about the events, they can go to events.wayne.edu and search Juneteenth. 

Darrell Dawsey: Thank you so much, Dr. Chamblee. We appreciate you joining.

Marquita Chamblee: Thanks for having me.

Extro: This has been “Warriors in the Community.” For more Wayne State News, please visit us online at today.wayne.edu/wwj and join us here next Monday at the same time for more warriors in the community.

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