"A Conversation with Ms. Opal Lee: the Grandmother of Juneteenth" will be held at 3 p.m. March 27 at Burruss Hall (800 Drillfield Drive) in Blacksburg and also will be livestreamed. This event is free and open to the public and will be part of Virginia Tech's 1872 Forward celebration weekend.

Lee, often referred to as the "grandmother of Juneteenth," is a retired teacher, counselor, and social justice activist in the movement to make Juneteenth a federally recognized holiday. On June 17, 2021, President Biden signed Senate bill 475, making Juneteenth the 11th federal holiday. Author of Juneteenth: A Children’s Story, Lee has been nominated for the 2022 Nobel Peace Prize.

During Virginia Tech's event, Lee will share her wisdom about advocating for equality as an activist and leader. 

"I am honored to bring Ms. Opal Lee to Virginia Tech during Women’s History Month,” said Belay Reddick of S & B Company. “The students are going to learn so much from this American treasure and iconic figure.”

The event is sponsored by the Elizabeth A. "Betsy" Flanagan Women in Leadership and Philanthropy Endowed Lecture Fund, Virginia Tech Student Affairs, I WILL Council, and VT Engage: The Center for Leadership and Service Learning.

If you are an individual with a disability and desire an accommodation, please contact VT Engage at 540-231-6964 or engage@vt.edu during regular business hours at least five business days prior to the event.

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