In celebration of Juneteenth, Drake University will host an education forum, the Miss Iowa Juneteenth Coronation and Fashion Showcase as well as a benefit concert.
Juneteenth commemorates June 19, 1865, when Union soldiers rode into Galveston, Texas, telling slaves the Civil War had ended two months earlier and they were free. The day became an official Iowa holiday in 2002.
The Iowa Juneteenth Education Forum will be held at 6 p.m. Tuesday, June 13, in Bulldog Theater in Olmsted Center, 29th Street and University Avenue. This free event will feature two panel discussions designed to help low-income and minority families prepare their children for higher education. Tom Delahunt, Drake vice president of admission and financial aid, will moderate the first panel. The second panel will include Janet McMahill, dean of Drake’s School of Education, and James Work, executive director of the I Have a Dream Foundation, which is based at Drake.
On Friday, June 16, the Miss Iowa Juneteenth Coronation and Fashion Showcase will start at 5:30 p.m. in Sheslow Auditorium in Old Main, 2507 University Ave. The purpose of this event, which is free and open to the public, is to recognize and model the finer attributes of African American women between the ages of 18 and 24.
Following that event, the Iowa Juneteenth Music Connection benefit concert will take place at 8 p.m. in Sheslow Auditorium. Bo James, CEO of Launchpad DMI Entertainment, will serve as emcee for the following lineup of entertainers: Leonard Bell (urban poetry); Alonda Long (R & B); Charles Sanders (gospel instrumentals); Joey Ashby (R & B); Floor Spidas (breakdancing); HG Filled (gospel rap) and Lil Shug (rap).
Tickets for the concert, which will be available at the door, are $10. A portion of the proceeds will be donated to the Evelyn Davis Early Learning Academy in Des Moines and to purchase books about Juneteenth for public libraries and schools in Iowa.