June 12, 2024

Celebrate freedom and unity: Wayne State University hosts inspiring Juneteenth events

Wayne State University is excited to host a vibrant lineup of events to celebrate Juneteenth, a holiday commemorating the emancipation of enslaved African Americans. While the federally recognized Emancipation Day is June 19, the university will hold festivities on Monday, June 17, and Tuesday, June 18. The university will be closed on Wednesday, June 19, in observance of the holiday.

This year’s festivities will feature a mix of art, history and community engagement designed to honor the past while inspiring future generations. Throughout the month of June, community members can visit the Purdy/Kresge Library atrium, located at 5265 Cass Avenue, to experience the Afrofuturism art of Jamar Lockhart, a WSU featured artist. Admission to all WSU Juneteenth celebration events is free and open to the public.

On June 17, WSU will welcome interdisciplinary artist April Anue, who will delve into the historical significance of quilting for African Americans. This special event will be held in the Student Center Building, 5221 Gullen Mall, room 775, from noon to 2 p.m.  

On Tuesday, June 18, the official Juneteenth Celebration occurs, starting at 10 a.m. in the WSU David Adamany Undergraduate Library’s Bernath Auditorium, located at 5155 Gullen Mall. The opening ceremony will feature a keynote speech by Dr. Mayowa Lisa Reynolds, principal at the Detroit School of Arts. The festivities will continue in Keast Commons, located 630 Merrick St., at noon, where the community can enjoy captivating performances, delicious food and vibrant music. At 5 p.m., the Wayne State University Organization of Black Alumni will host a panel on “DEI Education: Its Current and Future Significance” in the Undergraduate Library’s Bernath Auditorium.

“We are thrilled to celebrate Juneteenth this year with the support of our community and sponsors," said Donyale Padgett, Ph.D., interim vice provost for inclusive excellence. “We are fortunate to have Whirlpool join us as a sponsor for this year’s events. Their support is a testament to their commitment to continuous education and the preservation of history. Juneteenth is a significant moment in our nation’s history. We’re proud to commemorate it by centering the stories, contributions and resilience of the Black community.”

Rounding out this year’s celebration is a screening of the movie The Color Purple. This event is hosted by the Dean of Students Office (DOSO) and will be held in the Keast Commons outdoor space from 9 to 11 p.m. Community members can grab their blankets, lawn chairs, and gather with friends to end the evening of celebration.

Wayne State University will be closed on June 19, 2024, in observance of the Juneteenth holiday.

For more information about the Juneteenth Celebration at Wayne State University, visit:


About Wayne State University
Wayne State University is a premier urban research institution located in the heart of Detroit, Michigan. Committed to academic excellence and community engagement, the university provides a diverse and inclusive environment for students, faculty, and staff.



Darlene A. White
Phone: 313-577-8093
Email: darlenewhite@wayne.edu

Subscribe to Today@Wayne

Direct to your inbox each week

Related articles