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Cabrini’s Inaugural Juneteenth Celebration to Honor Freedom and Fatherhood

Posted on 6/3/2022 9:39:00 AM

Cabrini will host its first ever Juneteenth celebration from 12‒4pm on Sunday, June 19, inviting students, faculty, staff, alumni, family, and friends to campus to honor freedom and fatherhood while enjoying traditional music, food, and ceremonies.

Though Juneteenth is a celebration of the day in 1865 when the final enslaved Americans in Texas learned that they were free, the holiday is a “bittersweet” reminder that it took two years for news of the freedom granted in the 1863 Emancipation Proclamation to reach those people who remained enslaved, said Lailah Dunbar, Director, Office of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging (ODEIB).

“We are going to invite people to our beautiful campus, feed them, entertain them, and teach them a little about African American history and culture with this inaugural event focused on freedom, justice, and liberation,” said Dunbar, who will preside over the day’s festivities.

Get Free Tickets to the Juneteenth Celebration

In addition to entertainment and joy, the event is also designed to educate and inform. Some of that education will be facilitated by Greg Carr, PhD, Associate Professor and Chair, Department of Afro-American Studies, Howard University. Carr, an education leader and award-winning scholar whose African American History curriculum has been adopted by the School District of Philadelphia, will lead an African libation ritual in which water is poured to offer ancestors blessings and goodwill.

The day’s musical and artistic performances will also enable attendees to learn while they dance and listen. In addition to a demonstration of capoeira — a Brazilian martial art created and imported to South America by enslaved Africans in the early 16th century — celebrants can enjoy traditional music from Philadelphia’s Tyehimba Drum Ensemble as well Negro Spirituals performed by Perry Brisbon, Vocal Instructor and Choir Director at Cabrini.

The music will be supplemented by food and refreshments, as well as face-painting, a poetry reading by Cabrini students, and other family-friendly activities.

Attendees are encouraged to invite their fathers and families to Cabrini’s campus for the celebration, as the Juneteenth event coincides with Father’s Day. Fathers in attendance will be honored during a brief ceremony.

“I also hope people will see this event as a way to engage their fathers,” Dunbar said, “and to remember the ways in which men, especially African American men, throughout history have contributed to the liberation of oppressed peoples.”