Mayor Malik Announces Akron Urban League’s Juneteenth Celebration in Collaboration with the City of Akron

Akron, Ohio, June 17, 2024  — The City of Akron will partner with the Akron Urban League to host a Juneteenth celebration this Wednesday, June 19, from 1-7pm at the John S. Knight Center. At a press conference last Friday, Mayor Malik announced the cancellation of weekend events, including several Juneteenth events. Mayor Malik's administration has spent the last several days working with the organizers of those events to plan Wednesday’s event and welcome all vendors impacted by the cancellations. The Akron Urban League, which was previously planning a celebration at their West Akron location, will consolidate efforts with the city at the John S. Knight Center. METRO Regional Transit Authority has also agreed to waive fares on Wednesday, in order to facilitate transit access to the event.  

“We appreciate the opportunity to collaborate with so many folks on short notice, and want to thank the Akron Summit Convention and Visitors Bureau for opening the Knight Center for this important commemoration,” said Mayor Malik. “Event organizers, the Akron Urban League, METRO RTA, and others have all joined hands to make this happen.” 

“The Akron Urban League is pleased to announce that we are consolidating our planned Juneteenth celebration with the city’s efforts at the John S. Knight Center,” says Teresa LeGrair, President and CEO of the Akron Urban League. “This decision underscores our commitment to stand in the GAP when it benefits the community, particularly small minority owned businesses.” You can view a full list of activities on the Akron Urban League’s website here. 

"Organizers, vendors, and community members put a great deal of effort and energy into preparing for these events,” says Matthew Talley, Esq., lead advisor to the Akron Juneteenth Festival. “It is appreciated that the Mayor is making a genuine effort to assist our vendors in recovering their losses so quickly.” 

The City of Akron would like to thank Mr. Talley and the Akron Juneteenth Festival, as well as Damarios Walker on behalf of the West Akron Parade and Juneteenth / Father’s Day Celebration at Kerr Park, and Tara Mosley-Weems, organizer of the Ward 5 Juneteenth Festival, for assisting with Wednesday’s event. Mayor Malik's administration plans to work with these organizers to reschedule neighborhood celebrations for later on in the summer, and to do the same with organizers of other cancelled events, including the North Hill 5K and the American Heart Association Heart Walk.  

Safety remains a top priority throughout the planning of this event. The City of Akron has worked with Akron Fire and Akron Police to ensure safety personnel and emergency medics will be present. There will also be security screenings as part of the event.

Free parking will be available in the Broadway deck at 120 S. Broadway and the High Street deck adjacent to the Akron-Summit County Public Library - Main Library at 40 S. High Street. The City of Akron anticipates closing Mill Street between High and Broadway in front of the Knight Center as part of the event.  

 

As a reminder, all City of Akron municipal offices will be closed for business on Wednesday, June 19, 2024 in observance of the Juneteenth Emancipation Day. Curb service will continue as normal on June 19 and there will be no delay to trash/recycling for the week.