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.

The Juneteenth Jubilee will be held on Saturday, June 18, 2022, from 11 a.m. – 6 p.m. on the Kent Campus, Manchester Field. Enjoy live performances, music, great food, vendors and more. This event is free and open to the public.

See Schedule of Events See Vendors


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.


A list of events and activities, with more information, are as follows:

  • Music and food trucks open 11 a.m.
  • Mwatabu Okantah and friends featuring Vince Robinson, Noon
  • Head Wrapping presented by Elipsis Institute for Womxn of Color in the Academy, 12:30 p.m.
  • NOLA Movement, 1 p.m.
  • Chelsea Pastel, 2 p.m.
  • DCDC  (Dayton Contemporary Dance Company), 3 p.m.
  • Kent State University Jazz Ensemble, 3:30 p.m.
  • Kenge Kenge Orutu System, 4 p.m.
  • Archie Green/Peel Dem Layers Back, 5 p.m.

photograph of archie green sitting on a couch

Archie Green/Peel Dem Layers Back

Archie Green, Founder of Peel Dem Layers Back, has sought his own healing through his pen and beats that have taken him beyond the studio and garnered local and national attention. Green advocates for mental health and has made history as the first rapper to perform at the world-renowned Severance Hall, Cleveland, Ohio. Green’s most recent album is Cope Dealer. The mission of Peel Dem Layers Back is to culturally educate, empower and equip Black men and boys with the essential tools necessary to live a mentally healthy life through a hip-hop lens.

Promotional photo of Chelsea Pastel using a red phone

Chelsea Pastel

Chelsea Pastel is a rapper, singer, and producer based out of Cleveland, OH. She is known for her animated production style, catchy hooks, and captivating wordplay. Chelsea's music can be described as a genre blend of rap, pop with a dash of rock, creating a fresh sound with an old school flair. Chelsea writes, produces and engineers the vast majority of her music.

Photo of four dancers from the Dayton Contemporary Dance Company

DCDC - Photo Courtesy of Dayton Contemporary Dance Company/Scott Robbins

DCDC (Dayton Contemporary Dance Company)

The Dayton Contemporary Dance Company (DCDC) is a culturally diverse contemporary dance company committed to reaching the broadest audience through exceptional performance and arts-integrated education. DCDC is the 10th largest modern contemporary dance company in the nation and remains rooted in the African American experience and committed to the development of diverse movement artists on the global stage. DCDC is a co-recipient of one of the dance world’s highest honors, the 2016 Bessie Award for Outstanding Revival. DCDC has traveled the world dancing on stage for packed houses in Bermuda, Canada, Chile, China, France, Germany, Kazakhstan, Poland, Russia, South Korea and throughout the United States.

Photograph of on-stage head-wrapping demonstration

Head wrapping, Elipsis Institute for Womxn of Color in the Academy

Presented by the Ellipsis Institute for Womxn of Color in the Academy, the demonstration engages participants through the sociopolitical analysis of what it means to wrap or cover one’s hair/head/ori and how our intersecting identities grant or deny access to institutional spaces as we work towards collective liberation.

Photograph of the members of the Jazz Ensemble led by Ronell Regis

Jazz Ensemble led by Ronell Regis

Ronell Regis is a saxophonist, composer, arranger, and producer born in Brooklyn, New York City and raised in Atlanta, GA. It was in Brooklyn where he was exposed to immense diversity especially in the Caribbean realm through his Grenadian parents. He began playing saxophone for his home church at 12 years old and found his love for jazz in high school. He is a recent graduate of the Jazz Studies Program at Kent State University. He aims to unveil his life experiences and feelings through his work. He is joined by Gabe Jones on drums, Jordan McBride on bass, and Jonah Ferguson on guitar.

Kent State University Jazz Studies students are provided the opportunity to improve individual musicianship, create a personal voice, learn from and be inspired by the rich history, understand the evolutionary process and modern trends of Jazz while becoming musical leaders and positive contributors to the Kent State University experience.

group shot of eight members of the kenge kenge group

Kenge Kenge Orutu System

Kenge Kenge Orutu System symbolizes all that is great about African traditional music: they are the guardians and masters of an ancient but living tradition. They breathe new life into Kenya's Luo musical roots, continuing its evolution, from the handmade instruments of the past, through the popular guitar-based benga, and now returning to both re-explore the acoustic origins of benga and embrace their Luo musical heritage.

Photograph of a drummer at a set of drums

Mwatabu Okantah & Friends featuring Vince Robinson

A multimedia exploration. Enjoy poet Mwatabu S. Okantah, ’76, interim chair of the Department of Africana Studies, as he tells the story of self-discovery, healing and transformation rendered in original music and poetry set to music, with keyboard artist Vince Robinson and friends.

Photo of Nola Movement dance group - six people in a dance studio

Nola Movement

Experience top-rated Zumba and dance fitness. Nola Movement is a space for women to ignite and fuel their fire through physical movement, positive mindset practices, and community connection. Through movement events, speaking engagements, and coaching conversations, Nola Movement inspires women to take action in their lives.

An illustration of black girl with a focus on hair

Textures the History and Art of Black Hair

Kent State Museum Exhibit

11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday
Tickets: $4 - $6
To learn more about this exhibit and purchase tickets, visit the KSU Museum's TEXTURES web page.


Enjoy a variety of products and services:

  • Afrika Origins

    African wearable art - Learn More

  • Barefeet Dance Tribe

    African dance group - Learn More

  • Blakfacts

    Black History-centered art and fragrances

  • Bossy Glamour Esthetics

    Esthetics-lashes and brow tinting

  • Brooks Homestyle BBQ LLC

    Southern-style BBQ - Learn More

  • Famtastic Hats 'n Things

    Handmade apparel

  • Grill Masters

    Southern-style food truck

  • House of B&J Collection

    Empowerment apparel - Learn More

  • Kentya

    Kenyan art and clothing

  • Oh My Yum

    Gourmet dessert bakery - Learn More

  • (Re)purpose Lifestyle & Wellness

    Candles, diffusers, and soaps

  • The Adventures of Rufus and Rita, LLC

    Children's adventure books - Learn More

  • TRIO Educational Opportunity Centers

    Student support services - Learn More

  • Universe Luxury Waxing Center

    Hair removal services - Learn More

  • Unto Him Salon

    Multicultural day spa - Learn More

Contact Us

email: diversity@kent.edu