UPDATE: Due to the weather forecast, William & Mary is moving its Juneteenth celebration on June 16 to the Sadler Center, located at 200 Stadium Dr. That story below has been updated to reflect the change. For additional information, visit the W&M Juneteenth website. – Ed.

William & Mary will host its second in-person Juneteenth celebration on June 16, kicking off a weekend of related festivities in the Williamsburg area.

The event, scheduled for 3 to 6 p.m. in the Sadler Center, will include a program featuring poetry, music and a performance by the Elegba Folklore Society, among others. The program will take place in the Chesapeake rooms.

T-shirts will be available for purchase along with goods and food from various local vendors. Those offerings will be available in the Tidewater rooms.

The celebration aligns with the university’s value of belonging and its efforts around democracy in the Vision 2026 strategic plan. Part of the democracy initiative seeks to “ensure that our nation’s origin stories are expansive, honest and that they unite us in a commitment to knowledge as a public good.”

Associate Professor of History Adrienne Petty talks about the history and meaning behind celebrating Juneteenth.

“We are excited for the second Juneteenth Celebration and for W&M to partner with the Williamsburg Community Consortium for an action-packed weekend devoted to educational and cultural awareness, celebration and fellowship as we reflect on the significance and meaning of freedom,” said Chon Glover, chief diversity officer and co-chair of the Juneteenth Committee.

Several members of the W&M community will participate in this year’s program, including several students who will present a variety of readings.

The event is free and open to both the university community and the public. Employees who choose to attend should coordinate with their supervisors. They will not need to request or report leave. 

Parking will be available without a pass in the Sadler Center lot. 

Scenes from the 2022 Juneteenth celebration

Juneteenth was first recognized as a federal holiday in 2021. That same year, William & Mary hosted its first Juneteenth celebration online, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Last year was the university’s first in-person celebration.

A number of additional Juneteenth events are planned to happen in the area throughout the weekend. Information on those is available on the Juneteenth Community Consortium website.

, Senior Associate Director of University News