Juneteenth Celebration Brings Dance, Music to Chaffey

African dancers perform during Juneteenth

Pounding drums and lively conversation echoed through the Rancho Cucamonga campus quad on Thursday, June 20.

Nearly 200 Chaffey students, staff, faculty and community members gathered in celebration of Juneteenth Freedom Day.  The afternoon offered a mix of music, dancing, food and activities for the community.

The celebration commemorates the end of slavery in America. On June 19, 1865, Union troops arrived in Galveston, Texas to deliver news of freedom to more than 250,000 enslaved Black people in the state. The day became known as Juneteenth, officially declared a federal holiday in 2021.

Melissa Covington, Chaffey College philosophy professor, brought her family from out-of-state to share in the festivities.

“Every time I come to an event like this, it reminds me how Chaffey College does a good job taking care of the community, students and faculty,” she said.

Throughout the afternoon, attendees of all ages and backgrounds learned lively dance moves, fostering an appreciation for the event's cultural significance.

In addition to the energetic performances and activities, the event offered a helpful resource fair. Community organizations and campus departments dedicated to supporting Chaffey students offered their services and assistance.

Chaffey College Superintendent/President Henry Shannon highlighted the importance of recognizing the progress made towards equity and equality.

“I am proud of the work we do here at Chaffey College to lift up all of our students, but especially our students from underrepresented communities,” he said. “I know we will continue to provide and expand this support in the coming years.