Juneteenth is the oldest known celebration honoring the ending of slavery in the United States, when Union soldiers arrived in Galveston, Texas, on June 19th, 1865, that the Emancipation Proclamation of 1863 declared they were free. As of 2020, Juneteenth became a federally recognized holiday, known as ‘Juneteenth National Independence Day.’
Black Professionals Network (BPN) national office launches “Juneteenth University (JU),” a digital platform based off a fictional college where black excellence thrives with a year-round focus on arts, culture, innovation, and entrepreneurship. Yet, during Juneteenth, after its namesake, JU hosts a homecoming-style array of events and programming titled: “Freedom Week.” As part of this concept, various municipalities within Miami-Dade serve as ‘satellite’ campuses with unique event activations to honor the historic moment while promoting unity and awareness across the region.
Kicking off “Freedom Week” is a signature BPN Miami Chapter networking mixer in partnership with City of North Miami and Councilwoman Kassandra Timothe. Inviting career and business professionals to connect across different professions, industries, and interests. Attendees will enjoy a cocktail reception and participate in Juneteenth trivia icebreakers. Networking Mixer, Thurs., June 16, 6pm – 9pm, NoMi Wildcat Center, (located at 1600 NE 126 Street, North Miami, FL 33181), FREE.
The celebration continues with the inaugural Juneteenth Freedom Ball powered by TradeStation and Juneteenth Food & Wine Festival with remarks from Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava. An all-black affair bringing together business leaders, industry executives, and professionals across the Miami-Dade County with MCs Naturi Naughton and Michael Rainey Jr., from the hit STARZ series “POWER.” Guests will enjoy a menu prepared by celebrity chef Max Hardy of Detroit, Michigan, and musical performance by Ronnie Smith Jr., from The Voice. Juneteenth Freedom Ball and Concert, Fri., June 17, 7pm – 11pm, LEVEL THREE, (located at 19565 Biscayne Blvd Suite #2946, Miami, FL 33180), limited ticket purchases available.
Juneteenth University comes to life at City of North Miami Beach with a Step Show and Drumline competition presented by Commissioner Michael Joseph, and Congresswoman Frederica S. Wilson and hosted by Luther “Uncle Luke” Campbell, Miami-legend, and community leader. National Pan-Hellenic (NPHC) fraternity and sorority step teams and high school marching bands from Miami-Dade County will compete for a chance to win first, second, and third place prizes. Juneteenth Step Show and Drumline, Sat. June 18, 6:30pm – 9:30pm, Julius Littman Performing Arts Theater (located at 17051 NE 19th Ave, North Miami Beach, FL 33162), FREE.
Additional events and activations from Juneteenth Food & Wine Festival hosted in City of Miami Beach and Juneteenth Park-In & Party hosted in City of Miami Gardens round up Freedom Week events. More details can be found at juneteenthuniversity.com.
Black Professionals Network (BPN) is the fastest-growing degree-to-industry professional pathway organization for career professionals providing talent recruitment and engagement. A non-profit social learning organization with the mission to advance careers, power up businesses and build up social capital for our black professionals with one introduction away opportunities. BPN guide their members along thriving pathways that expand their network, professional development, and earning potential.
To learn more about Black Professionals Network, visit https://mybpn.org
This is a Hy-Lo News Staff Report.