Organizers of the Juneteenth—Freedom Day Festival to be held on Saturday June 17 from 3 to 5:30 pm on the historic Woodstock Square are proud to announce that Rodney Katushabe will be the featured speaker.
Katushabe just graduated with top honors from McHenry County College (MCC) and was elected as a student commencement speaker. He is a young entrepreneur and business owner, a great motivator as well as passionate speaker. Rodney recently graduated from MCC where he earned an Associate of Arts degree within a period of less than one year while maintaining a 4.0 GPA. He was also involved in student organizations at the college including the Black Student Union, Speech and Debate team, and Phi Theta Kappa. He also received 8 awards including the Academic Scholarship award, the Student Leadership Recognition through the MCC and Me program as well as other awards and recognitions through speech and Spanish departments, making him MCC’s top Award Recipient. He volunteers as the assistant treasurer for a non-for-profit organization called Ugandan Community in Illinois which an organization that brings together Ugandans living in Illinois and the U.S. at large to create a home away from home as well as send assistance to those in need back in Uganda. He plans to continue his education at Northeastern Illinois University majoring in business management and accounting.
Juneteenth commemorates June 19, 1865, the date when enslaved persons in Galveston, Texas, who had been cut off from news of the Emancipation Proclamation of 1863 when the Union took control of the length of the Mississippi River, first heard that they had been freed from an order read by the Union general who arrived with troops to take control of the port. It became an annual festival in cities and towns across Texas in the post-Civil War Era. In this century observations have spread across the United States as a Jubilee day of liberation.
This first ever McHenry County celebration was organized by Gloria Van Hof, a McHenry County Board member, noted Underground Railroad historian, and long-time activist along with other community leaders.
The program will feature speakers, musical performances, and readings with food trucks, vendors, and fun family activities on the Square.