WSU Sponsors Juneteenth Events: United in Hope

OGDEN, Utah – Weber State University is once again sponsoring Utah’s Juneteenth Freedom & Heritage Festival, which marks the end of slavery in the U.S. The events are free and open to the public.

“We currently are experiencing issues around racism, inequality and discrimination,” said Betty Sawyer, WSU Access & Diversity community engagement coordinator. “Without coming to terms with the legacy of slavery, and all of its byproducts, we spend more time denying than making meaningful progress dismantling those systems embodied within slavery and racism. Instead, we need to promote and do the work of justice and equality.”

This year’s festival is centered around the theme “Perfecting Unity/United In Hope.” The theme was chosen to inspire local communities during the difficult times the world now faces. Most of the events will be held virtually.

Juneteenth is the oldest known celebration commemorating the end of slavery in the United States. Celebrations first began in Texas following the end of the Civil War. In 1980, Texas became the first state to declare Juneteenth a state holiday. In 2016, Utah officially recognized Juneteenth as a state holiday.

Calendar of Events:

For links to the virtual events and more information about Juneteenth, visit

June 15 Our Story: Genealogy & Storytelling

An interactive webinar at 7 p.m. will feature the Utah Afro-American Historical & Genealogy Society and the Nubian Storytellers of Utah Leadership. The event will help document and share family histories and stories.

June 16 Virtual Film Screening

Juneteenth participants can watch a 7:30 p.m. screening of the film “BOSS: The Black Experience in Business." Produced by Peabody and Emmy Award winning filmmaker Stanley Nelson, the film examines more than 150 years of the business experience of African American men and women. The stories range from individuals in bondage to multimillion-dollar moguls. Local business owners and members of the Utah Black Chamber will participate in a pre-film discussion beginning at 6:30 p.m.

June 19 The State of Black Utah Town Hall

A virtual town hall will begin at 6 p.m. to discuss “Mind, Body & Spirit: Black Mental Health in the Midst of Crisis.” A thoughtful conversation will give youth, young adults and emerging leaders a chance to share how they are coping with racism and injustices.

From 8-9 p.m., watch the “Excellence in the Community Juneteenth Concert,” streaming live from the Gallivan Center.

June 20 Commemorative Caravan

The community is invited to join a commemorative caravan on foot or in vehicles to celebrate and honor Juneteenth. Participants can line up for the caravan at 10 a.m. in front of the Marshall White Community Center (222 28th Street, Ogden).

From 8-9 p.m., watch the “Excellence in the Community Juneteenth Concert,” streaming live from the Gallivan Center.

June 20 Virtual Festival and Celebration

Facebook, Instagram and Zoom will have live dancing, drumming, gospel, hip hop, jazz, R & B and spoken-word performances. From 8-9 p.m., watch the “Excellence in the Community Juneteenth Concert,” streaming live from the Gallivan Center.

Utah’s Juneteenth Festival is hosted by the Project Success Coalition in collaboration with local businesses and organizations including Weber State University.

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Betty Sawyer, WSU transition programs and partnerships coordinator
801-626-7027 •


Shaylee Stevens, Office of Marketing & Communications
801-626-7948 •