Juneteenth and Kent State Logos

Juneteenth Jubilee

Kent State University will commemorate Juneteenth with a community celebration that combines the rich history of Black Americans with an assortment of festivities.

 Juneteenth Jubilee will be held on Tuesday, June 18, 2024, from 11 a.m– 1:30 p.m. on the Kent Campus, Student Green/Risman Plaza. Enjoy live performances, music, great food, vendors and more. This event is free and open to the public. A map of campus can be viewed here


On June 19, Americans across the country celebrate Juneteenth, the commemoration of the day in 1865 when enslaved Black Americans in Galveston, Texas, got the news that the Civil War had ended, and they were now free. Slavery in states engaged in rebellion against the Union had ended a full two years before, when President Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation became official on Jan. 1, 1863. And it wasn’t long before Black Americans began to celebrate Juneteenth, the name derived from combining June and 19th.

In 1980, Texas began recognizing Juneteenth as an official state holiday, and in 2020, a total of 47 states and the District of Columbia recognizes the date as well. In 2021, the U.S. Senate and House passed measures to recognize Juneteenth National Independence Day as a federal holiday. President Joe Biden signed the legislation on June 17, 2021.

Kent State’s Student Multicultural Center hosted the 2021 Juneteenth Jubilee and Kent State students were integral in planning the event.



Dr. Talea Drummer-Ferrell, Associate Vice President for Student Life and Dean of Students, will serve as the emcee for this event. Within the Division of Student Life, Dr. Drummer Ferrell’s pillar is Advocacy, Support, and Well-being. In her role, she oversees the Center for Sexual and Relationship Violence Support Services, Office of Student Conduct, Recreation and Wellness Services, which includes the Student Recreation and Wellness Center, Kent State of Well-being, & the Ice Arena, Counseling and Psychological Services, and the Office of the Dean of Students, which includes Parent and Family Engagement. Prior to her current role, Dr. Drummer-Ferrell has held roles within the Student Multicultural Center (SMC), Intercollegiate Athletics, Upward Bound, Residence Services, and Student Organizations including Fraternity & Sorority Life. Throughout her career, her focus has been on advocacy, leadership, academics, diversity, and empowerment of the individual student.

DJ Smoov is one of America’s most in-demand DJ talents, performing all over the country as one of the most sought after DJ’s for private events and hottest nightclubs. The Smoov brand is known for his amazing open format sets that he delivers night in and night out, always pushing the bar evolving creativity and skill set to maximize the “Smoov experience”. Smoov has spun private events for some of the most prominent celebrities, brands, and companies including LeBron James (NBA), Jimmy Fallon (late night host), 50 Cent (artist), Nicki Minaj (artist), James Harrison (NFL), Rockmond Dunbar (actor), Audio Technica (usa) NBC Network, 5/3 Bank, Victoria’s Secret, Next Clothing, Macys, just to name a few. His talents have also earned him the opportunity perform on Grammy award winning Bruno Mars 24k Magic World Tour on select tour dates. 2014 Smoov won Spinfest DJ Competion against 25 other DJs based on mixing, scratching and creativity. He also donates his talents to multiple charities, helping organizations raise money for a variety of worthy causes. 

Berhane and Sowande Okantah will provide an interactive drumming workshop for attendees. Professionally trained in African music and arts, Berhane and Sowande Okantah have nearly two decades of expertise in music performance and instruction. They showcase their talents by captivating audiences and engaging listeners to experience music live in its ancient form. 



Below is a list of vendors and organizations at the event. 

Contact Us

email: people@kent.edu