Here’s how Ann Arbor organizations are celebrating, recognizing Juneteenth this weekend

ANN ARBOR, Mich. – On Friday and Saturday, organizations around Ann Arbor will be recognizing Juneteeth through different events.

Observed annually on June 19, Juneteenth commemorates the day when the African American slaves in Texas were notified of their freedom in 1865. The holiday has been officially recognized in Michigan since 2005 but has gained national attention this year amid unrest over racism and the recent killings of Black Americans. 

Here’s how different organizations in Ann Arbor plan to recognize the day.

Juneteenth Tribute

At 1:15 p.m. on Friday, Michigan Medicine will observe Juneteenth by inviting staff, faculty, and others to kneel for 8 minutes and 46 seconds. 

Participants should arrive early and are asked to kneel silently in order to pay tribute to George Floyd and other individuals who have lost their lives, according to the event website.

Those participating are asked to wear masks, participate in social distancing and to kneel on the sidewalks around the hospital on East and West Medical Center Drive. 

A map of sidewalks around the hospital system can be found here. 

The event is being hosted by the Michigan Medicine Office for Health Equity and Inclusion

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Juneteenth: March for Change 

From noon to 2 p.m., on Friday, there will be a March for Change around downtown organized by Survivors Speak, a nonprofit organization, and several activists.

The march will start in the Diag on the University of Michigan Central Campus and proceed down State Street towards Main Street via Huron Street then go back to the Diag. 

Several local figures are scheduled to speak including Congresswoman Debbie Dingell.

Find the Facebook event here.

Juneteenth Walk for Racial Justice

At 9 a.m. on Saturday, the Ann Arbor branch of the NAACP will host its annual Juneteenth celebration in partnership with the City of Ann Arbor, GIVE365 and Protectors of Equality in Government.

The event will start with a two-mile walk for racial justice along the Border-to-Border trail from Fuller Park to Wheeler Park and then back to Fuller Park. Up to 100 participants will be able to join the in-person walk. Participants are asked to wear a mask and remain 6 feet apart.

From noon to 2 p.m., there will be a virtual event featuring speakers, videos and time for reflection, according to a Facebook post from the City of Ann Arbor. 

Those interested in attending the virtual event can email to register. 


About the Author:

Sarah has worked for WDIV since June 2018. She covers community events, good eats and small businesses in Ann Arbor and has a Master's degree in Applied Linguistics from Grand Valley State University.