LSU Health New Orleans Newsroom

LSU Health New Orleans Commemorates Juneteenth

June 22, 2023

Juneteenth event station

LSU Health New Orleans celebrated the end of slavery in the United States with A Taste of Juneteenth, an event featuring history, culture, food and competition. The nearly 600 faculty, staff and students were given a Passport to Juneteenth Freedom Day with places for completion stamps for the four stations – Welcome, History of Juneteenth, Red Room and Taste of Juneteenth. Those who got all four stamps were eligible for prizes. Colorful footsteps on the floor and balloons in Juneteenth colors guided attendees to each station.

The History of Juneteenth educated everyone about the significance of June 19, 1865, and how it came about with an animated TED Talk video – What is Juneteenth, and why is it important? On the way out of the auditorium, participants could pick up a Juneteenth-colored bracelet.

The Red Room taught about why the color red is associated with Juneteenth – the symbolism going back to West Africa. Red was also the color of some of the foods that traveled to the Americas with the Africans during the slave trade. Red foods important to Louisiana’s culture were on display, as were the red velvet cupcakes offered at the door.

The Taste of Juneteenth station featured culturally significant foods -- red beans and rice, barbecued pork sliders, macaroni and cheese, and snowballs from Hansen’s.

The Passport Raffle Prize winners were Sara Schexnayder, Lisa Guy, Terrence Denkins, Yudi Cazanas, and Victoria Kagler. The Grand Prize went to Jessye Garriet.

“The LSU Health New Orleans Juneteenth Committee was striving to host a celebration that was educational and interactive,” notes Alicia Edwards, Special Advisor for Diversity Initiatives. “Our intent was for the LSUHSC community to learn about the history of Juneteenth as well as explore some of the traditions that are associated with the holiday. The Juneteenth Committee truly appreciates the large number of attendees who took the time to participate and celebrate this commemorative day.”

By all accounts, they succeeded. Watch!

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