Niles to host annual Juneteenth festival

Published 2:40 pm Tuesday, June 6, 2023

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

The third annual Juneteenth We Know Better Project Festival will take place from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. Monday, June 19 at Plym Park.

Organized by Ylonda Scott of Ylonda’s Women Business Retreat, Tiara Williams of Tattoo the World and Marci Taylor of Women Who Boss Up and WSMK 99.1, 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. Food, vendors and games will also be available. In addition, this year’s event will be recognizing area black-owned businesses and will also crown festival kings and queens for seniors, adults and high schoolers.

“We want to bring awareness to businesses and individuals making an impact in our community by giving honor where honor is due,” Scott said.

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 30 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.

Following the success of last year’s event, Scott looks forward to a day of unity, celebration and learning.

“Everyone was so excited about the information,” she said. “Our goal is to bring awareness and transformation to help the community become bigger and stronger. We want people to bring their insight so it can be a big event.”