Pennsylvania State Representative Jake Wheatley Jr. (D-Allegheny) will deliver the keynote address, “400 Years of Resilience,” at Clarion University’s annual Juneteenth celebration at 11 a.m. June 14 in Hart Chapel. The celebration is free and open to the public.
Wheatley is a recognized United States Marines combat veteran of Operation Desert Storm. He received the Combat Action Ribbon, National Defense Service Medal and the Kuwaiti Liberation Medal.
From his first day of service, Wheatley has championed the cause of access and inclusion for all Pennsylvanians. He has been a stalwart in the Democratic Caucus and in Harrisburg, pushing for economic development, mass transit and true education funding and academic advancements for all children, as well as providing leadership on covering every Pennsylvanian with quality, affordable and error-free health care.
Juneteenth began in Texas. Although the Emancipation Proclamation was issued Jan. 1, 1863, slaves in Texas didn't receive word until two-and-a-half years later, on June 19, 1865, that they were free.
The program will include special music and poetry. Those who attend are invited to a free lunch in Eagle Commons following the program.
Clarion's Juneteenth is sponsored by: Clarion University and its African American Caucus and NAACP Student Chapter, and Clarion Chamber of Business and Industry.