At Global Cleveland, we are proud to commemorate Juneteenth. As an organization committed to a just society for all people, we must celebrate black and African American liberation while collectively thinking of ways to continue educating ourselves and working together to ensure a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive future.

Juneteenth, short for June Nineteenth, celebrates the emancipation of enslaved people in the United States of America. It falls on June 19th, when Union Soldiers and their commanding officer Major General Gordon Granger, arrived in Galveston, Texas, and informed those who had been enslaved that they were free. This occurring over two years after President Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation.

Juneteenth, according to, is “the oldest nationally celebrated commemoration of the ending of slavery in the United States.” Despite not being recognized as a federal holiday, 47 states recognize Ohio among them. Fortunately, this year it looks as if this will finally change as the U.S. Senate has passed a bill to recognize the holiday, and the U.S. House of Representatives is moving to pass it. There is also a group of Ohio legislators attempting to make Juneteenth a paid state holiday.

Also, according to, “Juneteenth today celebrates African American freedom and achievement while encouraging continuous self-development and respect for all cultures.” As such, Juneteenth celebrations are celebrations of African American culture and history. They often include discussing the African American experience and readings, exhibitions, or performances of famous African American works. In addition, local communities oftentimes celebrate with parades, barbecues, or block parties, among other forms of celebration.

Below is a list of Juneteenth celebrations occurring in Greater Cleveland and Northeast Ohio. We want to encourage our colleagues, allies, and all of Cleveland and beyond to respect and affirm the dignity of African Americans by educating ourselves and celebrating the triumphs and achievements of African Americans.

Cleveland Juneteenth Events:

  • June 19 & 20, join Djapo Cultural Arts Institute to celebrate culture, identity, and Juneteenth with a two-day workshop held at Inlet’s headquarters and a LIVE performance at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame – Register HERE
  • Cleveland’s Freedom Fest is set to become an annual destination event in the heart of Downtown Cleveland, poised to position our community as a national leader in celebrating Juneteenth.

    Set to take place on Saturday, June 19 from 12:00 pm – 10:00 pm on Mall C in the heart of Downtown Cleveland, the city-wide, family-friendly celebration and commemoration of Juneteenth will feature headline performances from by GRAMMY Award-winning performers Terri Lyne Carrington + Social Science with special guests Ms. Lisa Fischer and Maimouna “Mumu Fresh” Youssef; “Freedom on Juneteenth: Songs of Liberation,” a mainstage performance by Karamu House, the country’s oldest Black producing theatre; and a fireworks finale made possible by #CL3Alliance, the Cleveland Cavaliers, Cleveland Browns, and Cleveland Indians. See Schedule HERE

  • Join Coventry Village and Safer Heights in supporting black-owned businesses and artists at our Juneteenth celebration on June 19th! Led by local black artists/organizers, this event is for our WHOLE neighborhood to celebrate the freedom and contributions of the black community in Cleveland Heights and beyond! More info HERE.
  • Mx. Juneteenth: A Black & Queer Liberation Celebration. A free event with a suggested donation of $5; $10 for non-Black attendees. No one will be turned away for inability to pay. More info HERE. RSVP
  • Juneteenth: Party With a Purpose! Hosted by: Sevynteenth Foundation. The money raised from this event will go directly to fund scholarships for our summer campers! Tickets HERE

  • #JuneteenthOnBuckeye: The Buckeye Summer Soul Series in partnership with NAACP Cleveland Branch, Black Lives Matter Cleveland and New Era Cleveland, will host the 4th Annual #JuneteenthOnBuckeye, Saturday, June 19, 2021, 12:00 PM – 6:00 PM, at the Art & Soul park located at 11802 Buckeye Rd, Cleveland, OH 44120. The celebration will include live entertainment, giveaways, food, vendors and various support resources for residents. More info HERE
  • Land Before Rhyme – Juneteenth Show. Location: Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Cleveland 2728 Lancashire Road Cleveland, OH 44106 “On this day we will honor our ancestors with our truths, our stories, our hopes, our tragedies and triumphs with the spoken word. Don’t miss it” For tickets click HERE
  • Juneteenth Bicycle Ride Around the Circle: Celebrate Juneteenth 2021 with Juneteenth Freedom Rides for a casual family-friendly bicycle ride through the University Circle area. Register HERE