Freedom Day, Jubilee Day, Emancipation Day — Juneteenth recognizes the day when African Americans were emancipated 1865. Today, Juneteenth offers an opportunity for celebration, education, and action.

The Virginia Tech community is welcome to share the Juneteenth educational celebration from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. June 17 at the Fralin Biomedical Research Institute at VTC.

“We want to recognize and honor the extensive contributions of Black scientists and engineers to advancing health,” said Michael Friedlander, executive director of the Fralin Biomedical Research Institute and Virginia Tech’s vice president for Health Sciences and Technology.

Black researchers, educators, and leaders will describe their career paths and research contributions in health sciences and the importance of embracing opportunities for underrepresented groups to better support the work of Black scientists and society at large through diversity, equity, and inclusion advocacy.

Participants at the 2022 Fralin Biomedical Research Institute Juneteenth event include:

  • Vernal Branch, independent research patient advocate.
  • Lance Collins, inaugural vice president and executive director, Virginia Tech Innovation Campus.
  • Sylvester Johnson, assistant vice provost for the humanities, Virginia Tech.
  • Margie Lee, professor and department head, Biomedical Sciences and Pathobiology, Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine, Virginia Tech.
  • Aziza Platt, licensed psychologist and health disparities researcher.
  • Manu Platt, Wallace H. Coulter Distinguished Professor, associate chair for graduate studies, and diversity director, Georgia Tech.
  • Pernessa Seele, founder and CEO, The Balm In Gilead Inc.
  • Kaela Singleton, postdoctoral fellow and president-elect, Black in Neuro, Emory University.

The event’s organizing committee includes Audra Barnes, Leanna Blevins, Shannon Farris, Carla Finkielstein, Jasmine Johnson, Roberta Freitas Lemos, Steve Poelzing, Carissa South, Karthi Sreedevi, Monet Roberts, and Kenneth Young.

The 2022 Fralin Biomedical Research Institute Juneteenth Celebration will be an in-person event at 2 Riverside Circle, Room M203. Attendees are encouraged but not required to wear masks. The event will also be presented via Zoom or streamed live via the Fralin Biomedical Research Institute’s website.

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