The Franklin Justice and Equity Coalition is joining with its community partners for Juneteenth Week 2022 in downtown Franklin and beyond beginning Monday, June 13, and going through Sunday, June 19.
With the theme “History, Legacy and Excellence,” this year’s Juneteenth in Franklin will be open to all to celebrate the oldest holiday for African Americans that commemorates the ending of slavery in the United States. Juneteenth originated in Galveston, Texas, on June 19, 1865.
The Franklin Justice and Equity Coalition was founded in 2020 after the deaths of Black Americans Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor and George Floyd. The FJEC hosted the “Jesus and Justice Prayer Vigil” on the grounds of Historic First Missionary Baptist Church as its initial event.
Ten days later, the nonprofit hosted in the same space its first Juneteenth Celebration to “offer hope and encouragement during a challenging and difficult time in our nation,” a spokesperson said in a press release.
Hundreds came out to support the event, even as safety measures were in place due to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.
In 2021, the FJEC went even bigger with its celebration. Its second Juneteenth Celebration was held in Pinkerton Park and on the Franklin square, with food trucks, vendors, music and prize giveaways. This was the first time in the city’s long history that its square was the site for an African American celebration, according to the release. Thousands attended the 2021 event.
For this year’s event, the FJEC has scheduled a number of activities for the week. Beginning on Wednesday, June 15, from 3-6 p.m., there will be the first Juneteenth Summit, hosted by Strong Tower Bible Church. The event will feature the new release Juneteenth, a book written by Dorena Williamson; she will also be the keynote speaker for event.
There will also be a panel discussion featuring local politicians, pastors and community leaders. The discussion will be moderated by Dr. Chris Williamson, senior pastor and participant in the “Fuller Story” initiative.
On Friday of the week, from 6-10:30 p.m., the FJEC will host the second annual Juneteenth Formal Gala, presented by American Customs LLC. Off the backs of last year’s event, the 2022 version will be hosted at Liberty Hall in the Franklin Factory.
Come out and enjoy food, music and award presentations during the event. Tickets are on sale, and the event is $100 a seat.
The main 2022 Juneteenth celebration will take place Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on the square in downtown Franklin. Presented by Mars Petcare, and hosted by Church of the City, this event is free for the public. All are invited to enjoy food trucks, over 100 vendors, a kid zone, Pet Zone hosted by Mars Petcare, live music, a DJ and some special appearances.
On Sunday, in conjunction with Franklin First United Methodist Church, the first “Emancipation Worship Service” will be held. This community time of prayer and worship will be held at the main campus of Franklin First UMC, located at 120 Aldersgate Way in Franklin.
The speakers will be Pastor Bryant Herbert, Dr. Bryan Brooks, Bishop William T. McAlilly, Dr. Chris Williamson, and the Emancipation message by Pastor Walter Simmons. This event is free, and current CDC guidelines will be followed. For more information, contact [email protected]