A new awards program will honor unsung community heroes who stand up for civil rights and promote positive change. The Juneteenth Trailblazer Awards, presented by Sankofa Outreach Connection and the Johnson County Community Juneteenth Committee and sponsored by the Radisson Hotel and Conference Center in Coralville, will be held Friday, June 24, from 7 to 10 p.m. at the Radisson. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. and tickets are $15 per person or $25 for two tickets, which includes hors d’oeuvres and entertainment. Advance tickets may be purchased through Eventbrite.com (IC Juneteenth Trailblazers Award) at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/ic-juneteenth-trailblazer-awards-tickets-25885510258?aff=eac2#tickets.

The Trailblazer Awards will honor three local individuals: Hamza Omar, Transformative Icon Award; Bronis Perteit, Outstanding Leader Award; and Okechukwu Ukah, Emerging Activist Award.

Michael Muhammad, an internationally-known speaker, business owner and consultant, will be the keynote speaker for the event. Muhammad is well known as a mission-driven leader and a strong advocate for freedom, justice and equality around the country.

The awards event is a new addition to area Juneteenth activities. Juneteenth is the oldest holiday commemorating the abolition of slavery in the United States in 1865. The day is often referred to as African American Emancipation Day, and is a celebration of freedom. This year’s theme locally is “Civil Rights Movements Past and Present.” A Juneteenth family fun day will take place from noon to 6 p.m. on Saturday, June 25, at Mercer Park, 2701 Bradford Drive in Iowa City.

For more information, contact LaTasha DeLoach, Johnson County Social Services, at 319-356-6090 or ldeloach@co.johnson.ia.us

Date of publication

Wednesday, June 15, 2016