Ohio State’s Juneteenth event celebrates community ties

Ohio State administrators and central Ohio artists participated in a panel discussion.

The contributions of African Americans to communities across Ohio and the country have been the focus of attention at The Ohio State University. Frank W. Hale Jr. Black Cultural Center fourth annual Juneteenth celebration.

The event took place June 13 on the Columbus campus and included a panel discussion with Ohio State administrators and central Ohio artists, spoken word and visual art presentations , a craft and food station representing African American cultural traditions.

“Here at the Hale Center we have one of the largest collections of black art in the United States and we are also recognized by the Association for Black Culture Centers as one of the best (centers of its type) in the country,” said Summer Luckey, interim director of the center. “Our panel today exemplifies how the Hale Center continually merges the university and the community. »

Juneteenth commemorates June 19, 1865, the day Major General Gordon Grander landed in Galveston, Texas, with the news that the American Civil War was over and the slaves were now free.

The State of Ohio officially recognized Juneteenth in 2006, and the celebration became a national holiday in 2021. Cities across Ohio have been hosting events honoring the historic day for decades, including events at the Hale Black Cultural Center, said Yolanda Zepeda, Ohio State’s interim vice president for diversity and justice. ‘inclusion.

“Our friends and partners here at the Hale Black Cultural Center have put together a delightful program,” she said, “that includes a free-form discussion focused on Black joy and creativity.”

The panel discussion featured Monica Stigler, program director of the Ohio State Community Outreach Center for African American and African Studies; Sherri Neale, president of Maroon Arts Group; Marshall Shorts, chief creative officer of design agency Artfluential; J. Cohen of Arris, the first community artist in residence at Ohio State’s Urban Art Space; and Ajanaé Dawkins, the current artist in residence at Urban Art Space.

Terron Banner, Head of Learning and Community Experience at Urban Art Space, moderated the discussion. He provided an overview of the Hale Center’s founding in 1989 and its continuing work to preserve black culture.

“The Hale Black Cultural Center is one of the few – if not the only – independent centers in the country that has both a cultural and academic side,” he said.

Facilities such as the Hale Black Cultural Center, the African American and African Studies Community Outreach Center and the recently opened Ohio State Wexner Medical Center Healthy Community Center at 1600 E. Long St. are essential to advancing the the university’s community outreach efforts, Stigler said.

“Authentic collaboration really starts with a relationship, and there is no quick way to build a relationship,” she said. “It’s about constantly showing up, giving of yourself and your resources and having a certain integrity in the work you do. »


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *