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Juneteenth events in Northwest Arkansas and the River Valley

Several Northwest Arkansas and River Valley residents are planning to celebrate the national holiday.
Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark — June 19 is a nationally celebrated day commemorating the ending of slavery in the United States and there are a few events happening in Northwest Arkansas to celebrate the day.

The University of Arkansas African American Resource Group and the Office for Diversity and Inclusion are hosting a virtual Juneteenth celebration Friday (June 19) evening.

The trivia event will be via Facebook Live from 7-9 p.m. 

To play you must respond to the questions within the Facebook Live event on the UA African American Resource Group page, and not from a watch party.

DJ Derrick will post questions throughout the event and the first person to respond with the correct answer for each question will win an $80 Visa Gift Card. 

If you are identified as a winner, one of the committee members will contact you. All winners will be announced at the end of the event.

Mrs. Ronetta J Francis will also be speaking about the "Importance of Voting the Political Climate in the African American Community" during the event.

For the first time ever, there will be a community Juneteenth 2020 cookout celebration in the City of Bentonville. 

"The coming together of various resources and support from the broader community has been great to witness. We truly hope this momentum continues to grow in speed and collaboration as we seek to drive more tangible change in the region," event organizers wrote on Facebook

Organizers say the goals of the event are:

  • To educate attendees about how far we've come
  • Share a few ways we can start today, with everyone's commitment
  • Discuss critical partnership, solution and resource needs to implement systemic community changes

Organizers worked with the local police department to safely organize the community event. 

ADH and CDC COVID-19 safety precautions are still recommended for community members.

RELATED: What is the historical significance of Juneteenth?

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Girl Trek Fort Smith, an affiliate of Girl Trek-Washington, D.C., invites women and girls of color and their allies to make a commitment to positive self-care and community change through participating in "Walking For Change."

"Walking For Change is two-fold," said Ila DeBose, LCSW is the local Girl Trek Fort Smith Organizer. DeBose explains: "It addresses our commitment to self-care while addressing the issues of systemic racism, institutional oppression and change. The goal of the walk is to engage in mindful reflection on recent and historical events within the African American community as well as the nation."

Walking For Change Agenda:

  • 5:30 – 6:00 p.m. Participants will register, receive wristbands and hear opening remarks by organizers.
  • 6:00 p.m. Walk begins promptly. Participants walk the distance between North 3rd and 10th street twice.
  • 6:30 – 6:40 p.m. Participants stop at 913 Garrison Ave to hear speaker Jo Carson, Attorney.
  • 6:45 – 7:10 p.m. Walk resumes, ending at North 3rd street parking lot (site of Farmers Market)
  • 7:10 – 7:20 p.m. Final speaker, Rita Watkins, Deputy Public Defender, addresses participants.
  • 7:20 – 7:30 p.m. Participants hear final closing remarks.

All times are estimated times as it is understood that participants will walk at different paces. Participants assess how they feel, how they fit into and view change they want to happen during this event. Racism, discrimination, oppression by law enforcement is interconnected with other systems that adversely affect marginalized groups. Walking For Change is a first step towards systemic change.