2022 MSU Juneteenth Celebration

Attend the second annual Michigan State University Juneteenth Celebration program on Friday, June 17, from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. with festivities until 8:30 p.m. at the Breslin Center

Juneteenth (abbreviation for June 19th) is a federal holiday in the United States commemorating the emancipation of enslaved African Americans.

The celebration's theme of AFROFUTURISM centers Black history to envision futures of Black liberation.

The event will feature the Harlem Renaissance and Idlewild student art exhibit and performances, and the Black Wall Street business exhibition to center Black student entrepreneurship. The program will include messages from campus leaders and live music and food. 


Students, staff, faculty, alumni and members of the local community are encouraged to RSVP to the celebration. Activities for all ages.

When: Friday, June 17, 5:30 — 6:30 p.m. (main program, doors open at 4:30 p.m.)
Where: Breslin Center (534 Birch Rd, Gilbert Pavilion entrance)
Wheelchair accessible / All-gender restrooms available
Parking: Free of charge in Lot 63 and Ramp 7 (both off Harrison Road)
  Download the PDF diagram
Theme: Afrofuturism
Featuring: Speakers, performances, vendors, artistic expression

Message from MSU Black leaders

Featuring: Carleen Gardner, national president Black Alumni; Marcus McDaniel, president Black Students' Alliance; Antonio White, president Black Graduate Student Association; Ruth Nicole Brown, Ph.D., chair Department of African American and African Studies; Stratton Lee III, president Black Faculty, Staff and Administrators Association.


Juneteenth Dream by artist Lillian Young, 2022 featuring Afrofuturism theme

MSU Juneteenth Celebration Program

Friday, June 17, 2022, 5:30 - 6:30 p.m.
Breslin Center

Lift Every Voice and Sing

LaNette Hester, My Destiny Productions


Vice President and Chief Diversity Officer Dr. Jabbar R. Bennett


Trustee Dr. Rema Vassar
Trustee Renee Knake Jefferson
President Dr. Samuel L. Stanley Jr.
Provost Dr. Teresa K. Woodruff
Student Voices video
President, Black Students’ Alliance, Marcus McDaniel Jr.
President, Black Graduate Student Association, Antonio White

Significance of Juneteenth

Dr. Nakia D. Parker
Dr. Stephanie Anthony


Not only Darkness: The Legacy and Future of Black Speculative Practice
Professor of English Dr. Julian Chambliss



Vice President Dr. Bennett


Closing Remarks

MSU Juneteenth Celebration Co-Chairs
Stratton Lee III
Julie Sochay


Jazz Performance

College of Music

"Not Only Darkness: The Legacy and Future of Black Speculative Practice"

Julian Chambliss

Keynote speaker: Julian Chambliss, Ph.D., College of Arts and Letters

Dr. Julian Chambliss is a professor in the MSU Department of English with a focus on popular culture, comics and digital humanities. His research interests focus on race, identity and power in real and imagined urban spaces. Dr. Chambliss teaches several courses on Afrofuturism and his engagement with the topic also spans across his research, public programming and community outreach. He is widely known for his scholarship on Afrofuturism, the Black Imaginary, and Black superheroes, especially within the Marvel Cinematic Universe and he has a dedicated website called AFROFANTASTIC

Dr. Chambliss also has an appointment in the MSU Department of History and is an endowed curator of history at the MSU Museum exploring the speculative tradition in African American intellectual and cultural history. Some of his museum exhibitions and digital spaces have focused on community, belonging/identity, the impacts of Black comic artists and power in the American South. 


Juneteenth Artist Statement

Lillian YoungLillian Young, MFA, MSU alum class of '22

Young's works have appeared in galleries across the United States. She attended Texas Christian University where she received her BFA in Studio Art and an emphasis in Art Education. In 2022, Young received her MFA in Studio Arts from MSU with a certification in Museum Studies and is currently working at the Brooklyn Museum of Art. Young was a recipient of the 2017 and 2018 Smithsonian Minority Award, A Mercedes-Benz Financial Services Experiencing Perspectives 2018-19 Exhibition Finalist, a Texas Christian University Llangollen Award for Undergraduate Research and Creative Activity winner and was a 2020-21 Cultural Heritage Informatics Fellow at Michigan State University.

I've grown up celebrating Juneteenth most of my life. For me it's a holiday that celebrates a true moment of jubilation for those that were enslaved to finally be free from their bonds. In that moment, the whole world opened to them. The piece, "Juneteenth Dream," was inspired by the joy of that very first Juneteenth and the saying, "I am my ancestor's wildest dreams."

Within the dream like space in this work, in the background are different photos of Black elders from MSU and the Lansing area. Some of the photos are from a local Lansing paper that ran in the 1970s. From the stars, these elders and ancestors look on to today's generation. The figures in the foreground are a combination of my own figure drawings and photos from the 2022 MSU Black Students' Association Yearbook. For me Juneteenth was a kind of start of the notion of Afrofuturism. For the first time, those in enslaved where free and with that freedom came the dream of a better future for their descendants.



Juneteenth - On June 19, 1865, two-and-a-half years after President Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation and a couple of months after the end of the Civil War, newly posted Major General Gordon Granger issued orders to free the over 250,000 African American slaves in Galveston, Texas, who had not yet been informed of the new law. Juneteenth is considered the oldest known celebration commemorating the ending of the enslavement of African Americans and Black people in the United States.

Although, Juneteenth has been celebrated since the late 1800s, it was not federally recognized as a national holiday until June 17, 2021, when President Joe Biden signed a bill officially designating June 19 as a federal holiday commemorating the end of slavery in America.

Afrofuturism - The cultural aesthetic, philosophy and movement that explores the intersection of Black diaspora with the alternative visions and imaginations of Black liberation.

Black National Anthem - 'Lift Every Voice and Sing' (poetry and lyrics) by James Weldon Johnson

Black Wall StreetAlso known as the Greenwood neighborhood in Tulsa, Oklahoma, where in the early 20th century African Americans created a self-sufficient prosperous business district that was destroyed in 1921 due to racial violence. 

Harlem Renaissance - The Harlem Renaissance was an intellectual and cultural revival of African American music, dance, art, fashion, literature, theater, politics and scholarship centered in Harlem, Manhattan, New York City, spanning the 1920s and 1930s.

Idlewild - Started in Michigan in 1912 as a place where African Americans living at that time during the Jim Crow Era, could safely vacation. 

Freedom - the power or right to act, speak or think as one wants without restraint.

Liberation - securing equitable, social, economic and judicial rights.

Sponsors and Partners


We thank colleges, departments, units and individuals across campus for contributing funds or in-kind services to support the 2022 MSU Juneteenth Celebration:

Associate Provost for Undergraduate Education; Athletics; Black Faculty, Staff and Administrators Association; College of Agriculture and Natural Resources; College of Arts and Letters; College of Communication Arts and Sciences; College of Education; College of Engineering; College of Human Medicine; College of Music; College of Natural Science; College of Osteopathic Medicine - Admissions; Communication and Information Technology; Department of African American and African Studies; Department of Educational Administration; Department of Energy: Plant Research Laboratory; Department of English; Department of History; Microbiology and Molecular Genetics; Department of Teacher Education; Department of Writing Rhetoric and American CultureEli Broad College of Business; Faculty and Academic Staff Affairs; Honors College; International Studies and Programs; James Madison College; Lyman Briggs College; MSU Libraries; National Superconducting Cyclotron Laboratory; Office for Civil Rights and Title IX Education and Compliance; Office of Admissions; Office of Research and Innovation; Office of the Provost; Student Life and Engagement; Teresa Mastin, Ph.D.; University Communications; WKAR Public Media.


 Lyman Briggs College      University Outreach and Engagement College of Osteopathic MedicineCollege of Natural Science     College of Arts and Letters     Microbiology and Molecular Genetics     College of Agriculture and Natural Resources     Department of History     Honors College     Broad College of Business     Office of Admissions        Office of the Provost      Student Life and Engagement     Comm Art Sci Diversity, Equity and Inclusion     Department of English     Research and Innovation      College of Education     Department of Teacher Education     MSU Libraries     College of Engineering      Government Relations     College of Human Medicine     Department of African American and African Studies     College of Education, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion     Department of Energy, Plan Research Laboratory     James Madison College     Office for Civil Rights and Title IX     College of Music     Associate Provost for Undergraduate Education     Black Faculty Staff and Administrators Association     Athletics     International Studies and Programs

 Submit logos to mochidah@msu.edu 


We thank representatives from the various colleges, units and organizations who devoted valuable time to be a part of the 2022 Juneteenth events:

Black Alumni; Black Faculty, Staff and Administrators Association; Black Graduate Student Association; Black Students' Alliance; College of Music; Department of African American and African Studies; MSU Libraries; WKAR Public Media.


African American and African Studies      Black Faculty Staff and Administrators Association   Black Graduate Student Association (BGSA)     


    MSU Black Alumni   College of Music 


MSU Libraries     WKAR     

Michigan State University Juneteenth CelebrationCommunications

Submit your Juneteenth Celebration event on the events page.

Download the marketing kit

Program coordinator: bentley@msu.edu

Communications contact: mochidah@msu.edu