Springfield Technical Community College partnered with Bay Path University this weekend to celebrate Juneteenth, a holiday celebrated June 19 to commemorate the emancipation of enslaved people in the United States.

The event on the Bay Path campus in Longmeadow drew coverage from Western Mass News and WWLP. The festive atmosphere at the Bay Path campus included music, games, a read-aloud and more.

Dr. Shai Butler, Vice President of Advancement and External Affairs, spoke to Western Mass News about the event. They asked what it means to celebrate and honor her ancestors on Juneteenth.

“I lift them up every day, but today, in particular, to pause and think about what they went through and think about the hardships that they endured, and just to say thank you,” Dr. Butler said.

The theme of the event was “Voices of Freedom.”

WWLP also offered coverage of the event, noting that STCC and Bay Path are two institutions of higher learning that embrace diversity. The event included faculty and staff and members of the community.

Dr. Butler told WWLP that STCC was happy to partner with Bay Path and thanked the university’s president, Sandra J. Doran, for inviting STCC.

“We are here to celebrate voices of freedom and celebrate Black emancipation from slavery,” Dr. Butler said. Other area events will be planned this week to celebrate Juneteenth, which will formally be observed June 19.