By Leah Sander
WARSAW — “Juneteenth is a celebration of freedom and resilience,” says Lakesha Green.
Green is one of the organizers of One Warsaw’s Juneteenth event set for Saturday, June 17, at the Kosciusko County Fairgrounds’ Shrine Building. Everyone is welcome to come out from 6-8 p.m., with doors opening at 5 p.m.
Kosciusko County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Shaun Mudd, who started an anti-bullying campaign in the county, is the featured speaker. There also will be a business panel discussion by owner and founder of Glitter Hair and Beauty Supply Raquel Hoyt, retired Ivy Tech Chancellor Bill Smith and Snyder Strategy Realty realtor Alicia Taylor.
An hors d’oeuvre buffet consisting of sausage bites, cornbread and collard greens from One Ten Craft Meatery will be available. Attendees are asked to bring nonperishable food items to be given to local pantries.
People may RSVP on Facebook by clicking here, but it’s not required, said One Warsaw President Travis McConnell. He said it’s the fifth year for a Juneteenth celebration locally.
“We are hopeful that attendees enjoy a night of community celebration and learning,” McConnell said.
Sara Strahan, who chairs One Warsaw’s committee for the event, noted Juneteenth is “a holiday that exemplifies the official date of the end of slavery referred to … as Freedom Day.”
It marks the day in 1865 where a Union general arrived to tell slaves in Texas the Civil War had ended and they were free.
“It serves as a reminder of the struggles and hardships endured by enslaved African-Americans and their eventual liberation,” said Green. “The holiday recognizes the perseverance and strength of the African-American community and honors their contributions to the nation.”
She also shared the holiday “provides an opportunity to educate and raise awareness about African-American history and culture.”
“It highlights the achievements, contributions, and rich heritage of African-Americans, which have often been overlooked or marginalized,” Green said.
“Juneteenth encourages reflection on the legacy of slavery and the ongoing fight for equality,” she continued. “It prompts individuals and communities to acknowledge the injustices of the past, examine the progress made toward racial equality and consider the work that still needs to be done. Juneteenth serves as a platform for discussions on racial justice and encourages dialogue about systemic racism and its impact on society.”
“Juneteenth is a time for communities to come together, celebrate, and strengthen their bonds,” said Green. “It promotes unity, inclusivity, and understanding among people of different backgrounds.”