Client Spotlight: Athenia Rodney & Juneteenth NY

Client Spotlight: Athenia Rodney & Juneteenth NY

Honoring the Holiday for Those Who Built This Country 


Did you know the now widely known holiday, Juneteenth, has actually been around for hundreds of years? 


Check out this Here & Now episode with Sandra Bookman discussing Juneteenth’s significance and Athenia Rodney’s connection and growth of the celebration long before it was a nationally-recognized holiday!


Juneteenth, also known as “Juneteenth Independence Day” or “Freedom Day”, started on June 19, 1865 when Major General Gordon Granger announced in Galveston, Texas the emancipation of enslaved African Americans in the Confederate South. The holiday became federally recognized in 2021 when President Joe Biden signed the Juneteenth National Independence Day Act into law thanks to the efforts of Lula Briggs Galloway, Opal Lee, and others. Nevertheless, people have been celebrating this important holiday far longer than 2021, including Athenia Rodney with Juneteenth NY. 


Athenia Rodney is the founder and organizer of the annual Juneteenth NY Festival and Summit, one of the largest and longest-running annual events in the New York City area. Athenia brought her forward-thinking vision to life with the Juneteenth NY Celebration encouraging people of all races, nationalities, and ethnicities to join together to support and participate in Juneteenth celebrations locally and across the country. She works to build the blueprint for others to continue this legacy in order to honor this piece of Black history and educate people on the impact of this moment in past and present American culture. 


The Juneteenth NY Celebration was created to celebrate and empower the Black community through education as well as advance the economic and cultural arts in underserved areas and champion small, Black-owned businesses. This year marks the 14th year of the Juneteenth NY Festival & Summit and welcomes everyone in the New York area to come for education, empowerment, and entertainment during Juneteenth weekend (June 16th – June 18th 2023).


Juneteenth is more than a current trend of “wokeness.” It has been a part of American history since the abolition of slavery, and it deserves the proper recognition and credit for what it means to the African American community in order for the legacy to withstand the test of time. People like Athenia Rodney are upholding the legacy of Juneteenth to reach future generations by putting on events like the annual Juneteenth NY Festival & Summit that makes learning about the holiday and its impact understandable and engaging. 


To learn more about Juneteenth and Juneteenth NY, visit


Instagram: @JuneteenthNY

TikTok: @JuneteenthNY

Facebook: Juneteenth Family Day


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