College hosting Juneteenth celebration on June 17th

Illustration of a multicolor fist raised in the air with faces in the background

Tony Mayle knows that in order to embrace diversity and celebrate the local and national history, it takes a village of support.

That’s why he has invited the entire community to campus for Marietta College’s Juneteenth Celebration, which will take place from 4:00 to 7:00 p.m. Friday, June 17th, in the green space next to the Hermann Fine Arts Center on Butler Street.

“Juneteenth  — which is short for June Nineteenth — is the day federal troops arrived in Galveston, Texas, in 1865 to take control of the state. Those troops were there to enforce the Emancipation Proclamation that ensured that all enslaved people were freed,” said Mayle, who is the Director of Diversity & Inclusion and Associate Dean of Students at Marietta.

Last year, the day became a federal holiday.

Like the popular Multicultural Festival and Lunar New Year Celebration, Marietta’s Juneteenth commemoration also aims to draw large numbers of campus and community members.

“We will offer a raffle, guest speakers, music, games, educational items, and free food for everyone who attends our celebration,” said Robert Nelson, Coordinator of Diversity & Inclusion. “Our food items will represent the color red, which brings recognition to the bloodshed of the enslaved before and during their struggles for emancipation.”

D&I is looking for sponsors for the celebration. Businesses and organizations interested in becoming a sponsor can contact Mayle at or at (740) 376-3287.

Students Hannah McKain ’22 (Marietta, Ohio), Kaelyn Smith ’25 (Parkersburg, West Virginia) and Tucker Nelson ’25 (Coshocton, Ohio) are working in with D&I this summer to coordinate the event.

“It is important for the community to be involved with campus events one because it shows support for the college and we can educate the community as well as students on campus for a historical celebration,” McKain said. It's important to recognize all of the people that worked to make this a real holiday as well as providing a way for the community to be empathetic for the enslavement of human beings.”