A Message From The Juneteenth Festival Chair: Juneteenth 2021: We’re Off and Running

By Jennifer Strickland


I am blessed and humbled to be elected as the 4th president of Buffalo’s Juneteenth Festival, Inc.’s Board of Directors. And, because the Festival celebrates culture, history, freedom, and fellowship, it is important that the community is informed of our events that support our mission.  

2021 will host our the 46th consecutive Festival. From our festive beginnings on Jefferson Avenue, June 19 -20, 1976; to our vibrant, cultured, world-renowned presence during Sankofa Days; on Fillmore Ave. and in Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Park; to the innovative Virtual Juneteenth Festival 2020; to our preparation for this year’s events, we have been what Buffalo, WNY, and so many other communities excitingly anticipate each year. We are thankful for the leadership of now, President Emeritus, Marcus Brown, who led this journey as president, for nearly 30 years.

The success of the Festival is largely dependent upon the support of our sponsors, community leaders, and volunteers, including committee chairs, members, and the Board. Our 2021 hardworking board of officers and appointees includes Executive Vice-President, Ras Jomo Akono; Secretary, Jeri Becton; Treasurer, Catherine Eberhart; Festival Coordinator, Carrone Crump; Sergeant-at-Arms, Zyiyadah Uqdah; Parliamentarian, PearlieMae Hargro; Historian, JoAnn Peters (Taliba Asante), and Cultural Community Coordinator, Dayatra Hasan. Watch for words about these and other MVVs (“Most Valuable Volunteers”) as we make “IT” happen for Juneteenth Festival of Buffalo 2021 and our Juneteenth 365 initiative.

I cannot close this message without thanking the Challenger, our community newspaper, for its continuous support and promotion of our message since the festival’s beginning.    

This year’s virtual Festival, and if allowed, some aspects of our traditional festival, need willing workers on our technical and production teams,  We have 20+ committees and if you’d like to volunteer, become a sponsor, or want to donate goods or services to the Festival, please contact us at 716 891-8801, or email your interest to JenniferStrickland@juneteenthofbuffalo.com Peace and Love!