NEW DATE: Wilkes to Hold Juneteenth Celebration on June 25

by Kelly Clisham
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Due to the National Weather Service’s heat advisory warning, the Juneteenth celebration originally scheduled for Tuesday, June 18, will now be held from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Tuesday, June 25, in the Jean and Paul Adams Commons on the second floor of the Henry Student Center. 

Wilkes University will hold its Juneteenth celebration from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Tuesday, June 25, in the Jean and Paul Adams Commons on the second floor of the Henry Student Center. All members of the Wilkes community are invited to attend and encouraged to R.S.V.P. 

Juneteenth, also known as Emancipation Day and Freedom Day, celebrates the abolition of slavery in Texas, one of the last states to do so, on June 19, 1865. Juneteenth was recognized as a holiday by Texas in 1979 and by the federal government in 2021. The day serves as a reminder of the history of enslavement in the U.S. and seeks to celebrate and uplift Black culture, civil rights and equity.

The event will include speakers Dan Kimbrough of Park Multimedia and Glenys Johnson of Black Scranton Project, as well as entertainment by Mt. Zion Abundant Praise Dance Ministry and DJFrequency City. Local restaurant Caribbean Paradise will provide catering in addition to the classic cookout menu of hotdogs and burgers. 

Erica Acosta, director of diversity initiatives at Wilkes, looks forward to sharing the day and its mission with others on campus. “We celebrate many of America’s freedoms and the holidays that spotlight them, so this event helps to foster community recognition as well as celebration,” says Acosta. “It’s important to break bread together because it will also break barriers.” Community is a vital part of the Wilkes experience, and Juneteenth is an opportunity to learn, celebrate, eat and come together. As Acosta notes, “It takes a village.”

Interested in attending? R.S.V.P. online. The event will be held under a tent, rain or shine. 

Check out other opportunities to get involved:

  • Wilkes will walk in the Rainbow Alliance’s third annual Pride Parade on Public Square in Wilkes-Barre on Sunday, June 23. For details on joining the march, members of the Wilkes community should email
  • The Office of Diversity Initiatives will hold several fall semester events including the annual conference, coffee and social hours and other networking events.
  • The Office of Diversity Initiatives, located  in Max Roth Hall, will house an extension of the food pantry. The space has expanded kitchen storage to accommodate students with food insecurity.

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