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Written and submitted by Sankofa Community Connection

JUNETEENTH is the national celebration commemorating the end of slavery in the United States. Our event in Newport, RI demonstrates our commitment to presenting the historical impact and progression of African American heritage and culture. Back in 2020 we advocated for and received a proclamation from the City of Newport to recognize Juneteenth as a holiday in Newport, RI. Our 2022 Juneteenth celebration  will be held on Saturday, June 18, 2022, at the Great Friends Meeting House in Newport RI from 3pm-9:45pm

We are planning a gathering of community, interactive art-making, visual history, good cultural food, drumming, a dedication/parade to the Liberty Tree, music, and outdoor movies”, says Founding Executive Director, Niko Merritt. “We look forward to these annual events, this is our second Juneteenth since receiving the proclamation in 2020. Our celebration of the Black Community  goes beyond history offered in traditional educational environments as we want to celebrate the legacy of remarkable and determined individuals who often go unrecognized.”

This event was created not only to celebrate and educate about Juneteenth and it’s history but also to connect diverse people from all walks of life and families from across our region with local, national and international artists, performers, guest speakers, free cultural food,  area business owners, and our local media outlets. This community event is Free and ALL ARE WELCOME..

The program begins at 3:00 and participants are encouraged to park in the nearby free parking and arrive by 2:45. Free Transportation for those that need it, will be provided by FabNewport. The bus will leave from Miantonmi Park at 2:25 and then again at 2:45pm.

We are pleased to welcome back collaborators from previous events; the RI Black Storytellers, Sidy Maiga, a world renowned musician and djembefola Sidy Maiga , Newport Historical Society and the Newport Art Museum. New collaboration includes the Steelyard of Providence,RI.

Sankofa Community Connection thanks the community, founding donors, supporters and contributors including  Newport Craft Brewing + Distilling Co.  and Audrain Hospitality  who are the proud sponsors of Sankofa Community Connection’s Pre-Juneteenth Celebration.

“I am thrilled to become part of such an amazing and inspiring organization. The work that Niko and her team have done is incredible, but there is a lot more to do and I am looking forward to help open doors in any way I can. Audrain Hospitality will be donating one the their food trucks for the event and will work with the Sankofa Team on customizing a special menu for the event.” – Brendan O’Donnell, CEO Newport Craft & Sankofa Community Connection Board Member

The Steel Yard believed everyone deserves access to the education, skills and equipment needed to directly improve their conditions and community. We deeply appreciate our growing partnership with the Sankofa Community Connection, we will bring a hands on demonstration of the industrial arts to the 2022 Juneteenth celebration in Newport.”- Howie Sneider, Executive Director The Steel Yard

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