The National Juneteenth Foundation hosted its black-tie Juneteenth Honors event in D.C. last Thursday night.

Ashanti and Ja Rule perform all of their hits at the 2023 Juneteenth Honors event
Ashanti and Ja Rule perform all of their hits at the 2023 Juneteenth Honors event

The evening featured performances by Ashanti, Ja Rule, iAmCompton, Toosii and Lalah Hathaway. The event honored industry legends Chuck D, Herbie Hancock, Tamika Mallory, Dr. Kevin James, and Rohan Marley. The foundation’s Freedom Festival weekend also included a Bikes & Books give-a-way at Anacostia Park on Friday morning. Through a partnership with the office of Mayor Muriel Bowser, D.C. areas families received free bikes and books by African-American authors. On Saturday, the foundation offered attendees a chance to hear insight from corporate leaders and DE&I experts, as well as attend one of the largest diversity-focused career fairs in the country. More information can be found at www.thejuneteenthfoundation.com.

Through its annual Freedom Festival, the nationally recognized foundation creates a safe and welcoming platform for stakeholders and ordinary citizens to collectively come together to celebrate Juneteenth, black culture and excellence. “The last two years have demonstrated just how impactful we can be when we work together as a unit. Lives have been changed over the course of a weekend; and we thank our partners for their continued support and commitment to diversity,” says Laquan Austion, founder of The National Juneteenth Foundation. Austion credits partners such as Wells Fargo as being equally committed to the Foundation’s work surrounding

DE&I and supporting HBCUs. “Wells Fargo is proud to continue its support of the Juneteenth Foundation for a second year in a row – prioritizing diversity, equity, and inclusion and engaging the talented future leaders of tomorrow is crucial to building a more inclusive workforce,” said Dewey Norwood, senior lead Diversity & Inclusion consultant at Wells Fargo. “We’re excited to join the Juneteenth Foundation to deepen our impact at historically Black colleges and universities and offer unique opportunities to promising young students.”

In addition to engaging with corporate entities and Fortune 500 brands, to develop effective methods to foster more inclusive and equitable work environments, the Juneteenth Foundation also runs a scholarship program that supports the academic achievement of brilliant young Black students attending historically Black Colleges or Universities. This year in particular, The Juneteenth Foundation is working with partners such as General Motors who have committed to providing 19 scholarships to 19 different HBCU students in celebration of Juneteenth. GM has worked with the Foundation since its inception in 2021.

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