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Juneteenth Presentation to Imagine a More Perfect Union
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Friday, June 16, 2023
 

BY KAREN BOSSICK

What is thought to be the first ever public Juneteenth celebration in the Wood River Valley will be held at 5 p.m. Monday, June 19, at The Argyros in Ketchum.

A host of speakers from throughout southern Idaho will mark the emancipation of African Americans from slavery on June 19, 1865. And they will consider how to strive for a more perfect union in support of racial diversity and justice while observing the event that was recognized as a federal holiday in 2021

The celebration is the partnership between The Argyros, the Wood River Community YMCA and I Have a Dream-Idaho.

“We’ll play Martin Luther King’s ‘I Have a Dream’ speech, we’ll have a series of speakers speaking to the issue of racial justice and freedom, there’ll be high school choir singing songs—all recognizing and acknowledging this important day. It’s a wonderful holiday, in keeping with values we as community celebrate. And I’m thrilled to participate,” said Laura Lewis, executive director of I Have a Dream.

Doors will open at 4 p.m. for those wanting to avail themselves of a no-host bar in the lobby of The Argyros. The event will kick off at 5 p.m. and run until 6:30 p.m.

Latonia Haney Keith of The College of Idaho will provide an overview. She’ll be followed by Angela Taylor, a partner in The Dignitas Agency, who will talk about “The Significance of Juneteenth & Impacts on Present Day.”

Josh Hurwit, U.S. Attorney for the District of Idaho, will look at federal hate crimes in a presentation titled “United Against Hate: Mission, Vision & Values.” Kaya Evans, a Rhodes Scholar at The College of Idaho, will offer “A Vision for the Future,” and Christina Bruce-Bennion, executive director of the Wassmuth Center in Boise, will provide the closing remarks.

The event is free, but attendees are asked to RSVP at https://theargyros.org/calendar/juneteenth-celebration/.

 

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