UNCW Upperman Center to Co-Host Wilmington’s Annual Juneteenth Celebration

Thursday, June 06, 2019

The UNCW Upperman African American Cultural Center will co-host the 24th annual Wilmington Juneteenth Festival Celebration, connecting community members and organizations to collaborate on programming for the weeklong celebration.
Juneteenth, also known as the Juneteenth Independence Day of Freedom, is an American holiday that celebrates the announcement of the abolition of slavery in Texas, as well as the larger emancipation of African Americans in the country. The announcement was made June 19, 1865; the name is a combination of the words “June” and “nineteenth.”
“This tradition of looking toward the future with hopeful solutions is a staple of Juneteenth celebration,” said Kent Guion, chief diversity officer of the Office of Institutional Diversity and Inclusion. “Having the conference on campus creates an ideal scenario for engaging our community and links to the history of ‘teach-ins’ that jump-started strategies for positive community impact.”
UNCW’s Upperman Center will host a film festival on the Gullah Geechee culture’s connection to Wilmington, slated for June 9 at 3 p.m. in the Lumina Theater, as well as “Empowerment U: Juneteenth Teach-In,” a conference where community members will discuss issues affecting the black community and work to find solutions. The conference will be held June 11 from 1 to 5 p.m. in the Computer Information Science building on UNCW’s campus.

The programming highlights diversity, inclusion and community engagement, key values outlined in UNCW’s Strategic Plan.
The Juneteenth celebration starts Saturday, June 8, and concludes Sunday, June 16. Events are open to the public; not all events are free, however. To view the full schedule and event costs, visit Upperman’s website at

--Fairley Lloyd ’20