top Juneteenth Celebration speakers (Freedom day 2024)

Juneteenth celebrations in the USA commemorate this historical event of 1865 in Galveston, Texas. General Gordon Granger of the Union Army personally delivered the official order of the Emancipation Proclamation to the enslaved two years after it was issued by President Abraham Lincoln on June 19th, 1865. On this day, a new and uncertain way of life began.

Juneteenth comes with its own traditions – for example, the celebration includes many red foods which were a symbol of resistance to the attempts to destroy African cultures in the US. But what significance does this holiday hold today in “modern times”?  How does this impact DEI (diversity, equity, and inclusion) efforts in the USA?

There is much to be learned through the celebration of Juneteenth  – history, culinary traditions, and stories of courage – ideal for celebrations at your company, conference, college, or community event.

Dr. Deirdre Cooper Owens

Dr. Cooper Owens is a historian who shares the power of history largely through stories. Her work on medical history, medical disparities in the US and Harriet Tubman make her a leading national authority on this topic. Her Juneteenth talk will remind us of the history that hasn’t always made our school textbooks and will inspire and empower us all to better understand how the past is always connected to the present.  She receives consistent feedback from clients for her ability to deeply engage diverse audiences with great impact. As one of the country’s most “acclaimed experts in U.S. history,” according to Time Magazine, she is steadily working towards making history more accessible and inspiring for all.

Learn more about Dr. Deirdre Cooper Owens

Candace Doby

Want a speaker who isn’t a historian?  Speaker and coach, Candace Doby, is a courage expert who leverages stories of incredible courage around Juneteenth while showing participants how to conjure their own to speak up, step up and show up at work.  While hearing true stories of courage around Juneteenth, participants in this session will skills to empower themselves with more confidence at work.

Learn more about Candace Doby

Michael Twitty

Michael is THE culinary historian for Juneteenth celebrations. He not only covers the historical significance of Juneteenth but discusses the celebration from a food and freedom lens. Michael is an award-winning author of The Cooking Gene and two times James Beard Award winner for best writing and best book. He has presented to over 500 organizations around the globe on Black history and foodways. Michael is known for highly informative and entertaining talks – and always manages to weave in current events into his talks to increase the relevancy for participants. You’ll walk away from this talk with more history and a true sense of Black Joy.

Learn more about Michael W. Twitty

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