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Celebrating Juneteenth 2021

Engineering Hall at the University of Illinois along Boneyard Creek

Juneteenth – also called Emancipation Day or Jubilee– celebrates the emancipation of African Americans in the United States from slavery. Although, the Emancipation Proclamation – President Lincoln’s order declaring that enslaved peoples in the seceding states “are, and henceforward shall be free” – went to effect in 1863, it was not until two years later in 1865 – and two months after the end of the Civil War – that enslaved Black people in Galveston, Texas learned about it.

Since then, Juneteenth (a combination of June and Nineteenth) has been commemorated to mark the end of slavery in the United States. Like many communities, there are events throughout Champaign-Urbana celebrating Juneteenth.

2021 Juneteenth Events in Champaign-Urbana

Below is a list of some of the events sponsored many different local organizations this year around our community. Please see event pages for more information and sponsoring organizations.

Medicine, Slavery, and the Making of Race: A Historical Perspective

Presentation by Dr. Rana Hogarth, Associate Professor of History

Tuesday, June 15th at 1pm
Medicine, Slavery, and the Making of Race Event Description

University Y Community Conversation: Remembering Juneteenth & Exploring the Afrofuture

Presentation by Dr. Stacey Robinson, Assistant Professor in Graphic Design and Award Winning artist
Wednesday, June 16th from 6-7:30 p.m.
University Y Community Conversation Event Page

Stargazers: An Exhibition of Poetry and Graphic Illustration in Honor of Juneteenth
Exhibit by The Robinson Art Collective

Urbana Free Library (210 W. Green St., Urbana)
Art & Poetry Drop In Celebration, Saturday, June 19th from 1-3 p.m.
Exhibit Open Friday, June 18th (9 a.m.-5 p.m.), Saturday, June 19th (9 a.m.-5 p.m.) and Sunday, June 20th (1-4 p.m.)

Art Science & Democracy Festival
Hosted by Unity in Action Magazine

Events hosted virtually and live across Urbana-Champaign Friday, June 18th through Sunday, June 20th
Art Science & Democracy Festival Event Page or Visit Unity in Action for Event Lineup

Champaign Park District Virtual Juneteenth Celebration

Saturday, June 19th from 7 a.m.-7 p.m.
Champaign Park District Celebration Event on Facebook

HV Neighborhood Transformation Juneteenth Celebration at Westside Park

400 W. University Ave., Champaign
Saturday, June 19th from 12 p.m.-8 p.m.
HV Neighborhood Transformation Event on Facebook

Rantoul Juneteenth at Wabash Park

520 E. Wabash, Rantoul
Saturday, June 19th from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Rantoul Juneteenth Event on Facebook

“Back to the 90s” Juneteenth Freedom Day Celebration at King Park

915 Wascher Dr., Urbana
Saturday, June 19th from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m.