Diversity is God’s gift to ALL people and a worldwide asset. It is the hallmark of American democracy.

Diversity thrives in places where people are encouraged to talk to each other – NOT about each other. 

With this in mind, “Juneteenth in Joliet” will increase emotional literacy by setting the stage for diverse interaction around a celebration of African American history and culture.

Our Goal

Dismantle invisible barriers that divide people into silos of sameness where people talk about each other – instead of – talking to each other. 


    Increase connection between diverse people. Empowers individuals to speak and act in ways that allow them to be the positive change that transforms the thoughts and actions of the people and situations that surround them.

      YEAR 2

      Day: Monday, June 19th, 2023
      Time: 12pm – 4pm
      Location: Joliet Area Historical Museum – 204 North Ottawa St, Joliet, Illinois


      • Gospel Music & Words of Faith 
      • Panel Discussions
      • Vendor Booths/Entrepreneurial Black Women 
      • Sweet Treats

      Paving a Path to Progress

      A celebration of faith history and cultural contribution forms the core of Juneteenth in Joliet. Moreover, finding common ground and encourages participants to do what they can, with what they have, where they are.

      Be a thermostat not a thermometer. A thermostat sets the temperature. A thermometer reflects the temperature.”

      Martin Luther King Jr.

      Connect through Experience

      BIG DRAW Caricature ARTivism is introduced to capture childhood curiosity drawing out (pun intended) the best of visitors. Live caricature artists create hand-drawn images to serve as mental reminders to choose kindness.

      INTRODUCING: Black History BINGO as an indie family or group activity to look, listen and learn about African American History. Leads into the second annual Juneteenth in Joliet (Monday, June 19th 2023) program where participants who play can win cash prizes.

      How We Got Here:

      University of St Francis Unites

      Years before the 2020 social justice movement swept the nation, USF instituted campus-wide diversity equity and inclusion efforts to dismantle barriers to underserved populations. Launched 2014 (in downtown Joliet) the College of Business & Health Administration’s Business Incubator supported this goal; equipping diverse entrepreneurs with resources to achieve financial equity.

      Paying It Forward

      Instruction proved invaluable to an African American cohort member Toni Greathouse who applied the knowledge to become a Walmart Supplier. From 2016 through 2019, her company’s adult coloring books were sold in stores nationwide.

      Pivoting on Purpose

      The groundwork to lay the foundation for Juneteenth in Joliet began January 2021 and was incubated in downtown Joliet at University of St. Francis San Bonaventure Center for Innovation.

      Serendipity Set the Stage

      June 16, 2021 – the US House passed pivotal legislation commemorating the end of slavery with a Senate bill that designated June 19th as a federal holiday under the name “Juneteenth National Independence Day.” This action acknowledged the pain of the past race relations, facilitating the uncomfortable process of healing. It additionally showcases how diversity has impacted and improved our shared quality of life. 

      YEAR 3:  June 19th (2024)

      TIME: TBD

      Initiates Life Affirming Action 

      • Promotes personal empowerment to act/react responsibility to enable positive changes.
      • Applies creativity as a catalyst to penetrate boundaries by opening communication channels.  
      • Provides a collaborative template to facilitate constructive conversation on common ground.

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