Celebrate Juneteenth today with flag-raising and festivities on campus, and a new video featuring local Black leaders

Western's Associate Vice President for Health, Counseling and Wellbeing Sislena Ledbetter is one of several Black leaders in Whatcom County who are featured in a new Juneteenth video project, "I am the Hope and the Dream."

"I'm excited to be a part of a movement to help educate Western and Whatcom County about the importance of truth-telling through lifting up Black voices and celebrating the legacy of Juneteenth," Ledbetter said.

The community equity group Connect Ferndale released the nine-minute film this week, with the goal that it be used as an educational resource in county school districts and to start conversations.

The video features six Black community leaders discussing the significance of Juneteenth, which commemorates the day that enslaved Black Americans in Galveston, Texas were finally notified that they were free on June 19, 1865, more than two years after President Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation and almost two months after the surrender of the Confederacy ended the Civil War. 

Since the holiday falls on a Sunday this year, it will be nationally observed on Monday, and Western will be closed to observe the holiday.

Today at 11:30 a.m., we will raise the Juneteenth flag on Western’s flag plaza and commemorate the day with fellowship and food. Bellingham Unity Committee is hosting a Juneteenth Celebration from 2-6 p.m. Saturday, June 18, at Maritime Heritage Park. Explore more Juneteenth resources and events here. 

Read the article about the Juneteenth Video Project here.

Watch the Juneteenth video here.

Friday, June 17, 2022 - 11:15am
A close up of Sislena Ledbetter's face taken from the "I am the Hope and the Dream Juneteenth Video Project"

Western's Associate Vice President for Health, Counseling and Wellbeing Sislena Ledbetter is one of several Black leaders in Whatcom County who are featured in the new Juneteenth video project, "I am the Hope and the Dream."