Juneteenth festival returns to Niles Sunday

Published 9:30 am Wednesday, June 15, 2022

NILES — A group of local businesswomen are gearing up for an event to promote education and community betterment.

The 2nd annual Juneteenth We Know Better Project Festival will take place from 1 to 6 p.m. Sunday, June 19 at Plym Park.

Organized by Ylonda Scott of Ylonda’s Women Business Retreat, Tiara Williams of Tattoo the World, Vanshell Price of Dolls Directors, Marci Taylor of Women Who Boss Up and WSMK 99.1, and Angelena Ellis of Unique Angels and HOPE, the event will feature a line of speakers covering topics from mental health to financial literacy to the art of song and dance, and more. Additionally, food, vendors and games will also be available.

“We have a live DJ, so we will have live music,” Scott said. “We have food. We have dancers and we have a little jump gym for the kids so they can play around, and vendors. We have so much stuff for them to be able to be a part of and get good information.”

Juneteenth celebrates the emancipation of the last enslaved African Americans. On June 19, 1865, word of liberation arrived in Galveston, Texas, officially ending slavery in the state. Celebrations of the holiday date back as far as 1866 in some parts of the country, gaining popularity throughout the 20th century. On June 17, 2021, President Joe Biden named Juneteenth a federal holiday.

With more than 29 years of experience and knowledge in the fields of business management and leadership development, Scott hopes the Juneteenth We Know Better Project Festival will bring awareness of the resources and support that are available to the community and to encourage the community to get involved and work together and make it safe, stronger and better for all.

“(Juneteenth being federally recognized) means a lot because for so long, we had it where people did not know our history and even some of us as black people don’t know our history,” she said. “So this is the opportunity for everyone across the world to get to know about our history but we’re doing a little tag to it. We are also bringing awareness to financial literacy and also educating on domestic violence and gun violence. We want to bring that awareness along with awareness of our history so that we can change the narrative in our community.”