Join Heidelberg, Tiffin community in celebrating Juneteenth

Heidelberg University will be hosting a Juneteenth flag-raising at Beeghly Library at 2 p.m. Friday. As part of the flag raising, the history and significance of the Juneteenth holiday will be shared with all in attendance. Everyone in the community is invited to participate and learn in preparation for the community’s weekend-long observance of the holiday. 

The Tiffin Community Juneteenth line-up of events was largely planned by members of the Heidelberg University faculty and staff, as Heidelberg's DEIC committee served as a co-sponsor for the community's events. Dr. Nichole Griffin, assistant professor of education, serves as a primary contact and planner for the Juneteenth Committee. Dr. Griffin has been spearheading the planning of all of the events on the roster, and is excited to share the inspiring holiday with Tiffin.

“The idea of 'pursue peace with all men ...'  -- in this case, through an engaging and informative Juneteenth celebration -- is one of the messages I want to present to the community,” Dr. Griffin shared. “I think learning about the histories of the people that make up our community on a micro and macro level helps us pursue peace with another because we can develop an understanding of one another's experiences, as Americans, as humans,” she further explained.

Assistant Director of Admission Kiera Harper is in charge of the art and essay contest. “I’m excited because this is the first time we’re opening it up for the county, since last year was just tiffin. This year is all about community so we want to make sure our neighbors are aware of this new celebration and what it means for the Black people in their community,” Kiera shared.

Tiffin’s community celebration will begin Saturday with at 9 a.m. 5K Run/Walk, beginning on Madison Street. The run/walk will follow the Rock Creek Trail through Hedges-Boyer Park and parts of campus. Then the night will end with a Juneteenth Musical Celebration at the East Green Amphitheatre, starting at 7 p.m., followed by the first concert of the East Green Summer Concert Series. 

On Sunday there will be a Hymnal Walk Sunday Service starting at 10 a.m. on the East Green Amphitheater, with guest speaker Pastor Kristopher Johnson. On Monday, the Tiffin Community Kitchen is hosting a free community fish fry, starting at 6 p.m. The Juneteenth art and essay contest will take place during the dinner, with a hymnal walk to follow. The hymnal walk exhibit display will continue celebrating Black hymn composers until June 24th, at the Tiffin-Seneca Public Library.

With the exception of the 5k run/walk, for which there is a $20 registration fee, all of the community Juneteenth events are free and open to the public.

For more information about Juneteenth, check out the Juneteenth Virtual Museum, created by Heidelberg Director of Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging, Aaron Nelson

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