Juneteenth celebration planned for Saturday

Staff Report

The Coles County Faith-Based Coalition for Racial Justice and the RealiTea ProjecT are partnering to hold a Juneteenth event on Saturday.

Juneteenth, a commemoration of the day the last remaining slaves in the U.S. were declared free, is being recognized as a federal holiday for the first time in 2021.

The Coalition for Racial Justice and the RealiTea ProjecT will be presenting speakers, music, and poetry in celebration of the holiday at Morton Park beginning at 11 a.m.

Harold Pettigrew, bishop and pastor of Kingdom Driven Church in Mattoon, will be the featured speaker at the event. He will speak on the significance of Juneteenth.

Kieran Cook, a graduate from Eastern, will deliver an original poem, and Earl Matthews, pastor of the Second Missionary Baptist Church in Mattoon, will give closing remarks.

Taneya Higginbotham, who developed the RealiTea ProjecT, will also present. The Blue Notes, a jazz group from Eastern, will perform.