Skip to main content

Accessibility menu

Skip to main content Skip to footer


Posted 7:01 a.m. Thursday, May 25, 2023

UWL flies the Juneteenth flag in observance of the federal holiday, marking the emancipation of enslaved African Americans following the Civil War.

Alumni key in planning, supporting local festivities

UW-La Crosse alumni are doing their part to celebrate Juneteenth in the Coulee Region. 

Juneteenth, observed annually on June 19, marks the day in 1865 when the last enslaved African Americans were notified that the Civil War had ended and they were now free. 

The La Crosse community’s Juneteenth celebration will be held Sunday, June 18, from noon to 7 p.m. at Riverside Park. 

Attractions include interactive booths and tables, a youth fun fair, live music, food from Black-owned businesses and Enduring Families Project trolley tours exploring the history of African Americans in La Crosse.

Caleb Colon-Rivera

Representatives from UWL’s Office of Diversity & Inclusion will be volunteering and tabling at this year’s event 

Caleb Colon-Rivera, ’18, program coordinator for UWL’s Center for Transformative Justice, says Juneteenth is a chance to reflect on the past while continuing to work toward a brighter future. 

“I believe Juneteenth is important to celebrate, especially in La Crosse, due to the rich history we have with our Black settlers and prominent figures that helped the town become what it is today,” Colon-Rivera says. “It's an important celebration and event for our Black friends and neighbors, so we should also celebrate with them and see how we can further support our beautiful city of La Crosse.” 

Two other UWL alumni — Shaundel Spivey, ’12 & ’15, and Jazzma Holland, ’15 & ’21 — have long been key contributors with Black Leaders Acquiring Collective Knowledge (B.L.A.C.K), one of the groups sponsoring this year’s festivities. 

Spivey and Holland are co-founders of B.L.A.C.K, with Spivey serving as executive director and Holland serving as president of the board of directors. 

Joining B.L.A.C.K as sponsors are Hope Restores, Black Student Leaders and the Enduring Families Project. 

More information, including a schedule of events, can be found online.

Learn more about the history and significance of Juneteenth.


Share your news suggestions

Submit your news suggestions using UWL Share by no later than noon on Wednesdays preceding the next Monday's edition.

For more information, contact University Marketing & Communications at 608.785.8487.