May 30, 2023

Purdue Global to celebrate Juneteenth with online programs, keynote address

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Civil rights attorney and award-winning author Michelle Coles will deliver a keynote address during Purdue Global’s online Juneteenth celebration Friday, June 16.

Coles, author of “Black Was the Ink,” will speak at noon ET. She was the Howard University School of Law 2006 valedictorian, a graduate of the University of Virginia, a former federal law clerk on the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, and a former middle school English teacher in Ecuador. She was an associate at a major law firm with a robust pro bono practice that included working with prisoners and refugees. She is a ninth-generation Louisianian with a deep personal connection to American history.

coles-michelle Michelle Coles (Photo provided) Download image

Three other programs will be offered during the June 16 online celebration:

  • Juneteenth Overview and American Red Cross Information Session, 11 a.m. ET. Guilene Williams, director of the Center for Career Advancement for the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences and Concord Law School, will provide a brief overview of Juneteenth’s history and Juneteenth at Purdue Global, followed by Patti Pelletier, executive director of Academic Administration and chair of the Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging Committee; and Phyllis Rand from the Central and Mid Coast Maine Chapter of the American Red Cross of Northern New England, who will share about sickle cell anemia and the Purdue Global student blood drive. 
  • Student Life: Black Student Experiences, 2 p.m. ET. Moderated by Tiffany G. Townsend, vice president of organizational culture and chief diversity officer, students from the Purdue Global Black Cultural Association and the Student Advisory Board will share their experiences as black students in higher education as they work to complete their degrees from Purdue Global. 
  • West African Dance History and Movement Class, 3:30 p.m. ET. Safiyah Joseph-Francois, an instructor at Eclectic Movement, will provide a brief history of West African dance and a beginner lesson accompanied by a live percussionist.

The events were organized by the Purdue Global Juneteenth Committee, the Office of Organizational Culture and Inclusive Excellence, Purdue Global Ambassadors, and the Center for Teaching and Learning. Juneteenth is a federal holiday celebrated annually on June 19 to commemorate the end of slavery in the United States.

All events are free. Registration is required and can be made online. 

Writer/Media contact: Matthew Oates, 765-496-6160,; @mo_oates

Source: Laurie Hansen

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