WILMINGTON — Wilmington College and several local churches are partnering to present a community observance of Juneteenth at 11 a.m. Saturday, June 19 at the Simon Goodman Memorial Carillon on WC’s campus.
Juneteenth, which commemorates the emancipation of enslaved persons in the mid-19th century, is the blending of the words “June” and “nineteenth,” which represents the date in 1865 when, in Galveston, Texas, General Gordon Granger of the Union Army issued General Order No. 3, proclaiming the freedom of all enslaved persons being held in Texas. President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation during the Civil War effective Jan. 1, 1863.
Also known as Freedom Day, the observance of Juneteenth has become an annual time of remembering the evils of slavery and celebrating freedom for all Americans and, as such, the public program is designed to, “Continue building a loving community as we gather in song, prayer and fellowship,” according to WC’s campus minister, Nancy McCormick.
The Rev. Pastor R. Scott Miller of Wilmington United Methodist Church noted, “As a community, it is important for us to stand together against racism. Our churches should be walking together united rather than being divided during this time of rising racism in our country, as well as our community.”
Program participants include McCormick and Miller, along with Davey Raizk, Wilmington Friends Meeting; Joel Richter, Faith Lutheran Church of Wilmington; James Nathan, Olive Branch United Methodist Church; Kurtis Summerville, Bible Missionary Baptist Church; and Wilmington College’s Chip Murdock, director of the Office of Diversity + Inclusion, and Dr. Tanya Maus, director of the Quaker Heritage and Peace Resource centers. Inspirational music and opportunities for personal testimonies also will be featured.
As an academic community, Wilmington College is rooted in historic Quaker values, also known as testimonies, which include integrity, service, stewardship, equality, peace and social justice, and respect for all persons.
The entire Wilmington community is invited to attend the service. Water will be available and those attending are encouraged to bring lawn chairs, picnic blankets and snacks.
Ample parking will be available in Wilmington College lots off both College St. and Quaker Way. Those not familiar with the campus should park in a lot soon after turning off Main St. or its extension, Fife Ave. Enter the campus mall on foot and look for the belltower.
The rain location is the College’s Grow Food, Grow Hope Pavilion, which is off Quaker Way, across the street from Pyle Student Center.