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LeMoyne-Owen College to host inaugural 'Juneteenth 2021: A Celebration and a Conversation'

Day-long observance will include a bike ride, Juneteenth re-enactment, symposium, and tribute.

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The LeMoyne-Owen College National Alumni Association will host the inaugural Juneteenth 2021: A Celebration and a Conversation, on the College campus on June 19, 2021.

This daylong observance begins at 6:45 a.m. with a bike-a-thon to raise scholarship funds to benefit deserving students. The ride, up to 25 miles, will also include the celebrity riders who will complete the “LeMoyne-Owen Mile,” which circles the campus. Some celebrity riders include Shelby County Mayor Lee Harris; former Memphis Mayor Dr. Willie Herenton; Mississippi Boulevard Christian Church Senior Pastor, Dr. J. Lawrence Turner; and Shelby County Commissioner Van D. Turner, Jr.

A Re-Enactment of the historic ride into Galveston, Texas on June 19, 1865, featuring a singing performance by LeMoyne-Owen College president, Dr. Vernell Bennett-Fairs, will open the official observance. Activities to follow include recognition and proclamations presented to a number of state and local dignitaries, a health fair, cultural marketplace, voter registration, live entertainment and children's activities. The event will conclude with a symposium at 12 p.m. featuring keynote speaker, Rev. Dr. Starsky Wilson of the Children's Defense Fund and Tennessee Representative G. A. Hardaway. LOC alumnus, Reverend Dr. Earle Fisher, will serve as moderator.

"This is the inaugural year of what we expect to be an annual event,” Kristin Herring Hurd, LOC National Alumni Association president says. “Coming out of the same heritage as Juneteenth, it is what we owe to the community."

Community partners include Africa in April Cultural Festival, The Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH), Keep Tennessee Beautiful, City Beautiful and the Lynching Sites Project of Memphis and Shelby County. Sponsors include The CME Church, The Episcopal Diocese of West Tennessee, alumnus Commissioner Mickell Lowery, Sister Strut and others.

"Although Juneteenth is not yet a national holiday, reflecting on the significance of June 19, 1865, is vital to the continuing struggle for freedom and equality in the United States, especially during this period of history in the country," states LOC 1968 alumnus, Dr. Clarence Christian.

This event is free and open to the public, but registration is required. Register here