National Civil Rights Museum celebrates Juneteenth with free admission and a focus on health equity

Ford Philanthropy to sponsor free admission on the federal holiday Wednesday, June 19

Memphis, TN, June 05, 2024 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The National Civil Rights Museum is celebrating the Juneteenth holiday on June 19 as a Community Day with free museum admission and a focus on health equity. This is the third year Juneteenth is observed as a federal holiday, and the museum welcomes all visitors to learn more about the origins and importance of the holiday and the stories of hard-fought freedom for all.

Juneteenth dates back to June 19, 1865, when Union soldier, Major General Gordon Granger, arrived in Galveston, Texas with 6,000 Black American troops to inform enslaved Texans the Civil War had ended, they were then free, and to enforce the law passed more than two and half years prior. This population of Black Texans were denied their freedom since January 1, 1863, when President Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation.

The museum’s Juneteenth Community Day will allow everyone free admission to explore this American history that illustrates the resilience and contributions of Black Americans. This year, the Museum will provide resources through community partners to provide immunization shots, health screenings, and awareness around sickle cell anemia, a disease to which Black Americans are more prone. 

“In today’s terms, we see freedom is tied directly to economic empowerment, and as individuals, our health is our wealth,” said museum president, Dr. Russ Wigginton. “Too often, families can be decimated by health hardships, so it’s important that we make access to healthcare easier and dismantle stigmas on how care is administered to communities of color,” he said.

The Tennessee NFL Alumni Association in partnership with TN CEAL at Meharry Medical College will offer information on healthy lifestyles and provide free vaccinations, screenings, and giveaways to attendees. Vitalant will host a Juneteenth blood drive and will be joined by the Methodist Sickle Cell Center and the Sickle Cell Foundation of Tennessee to spread awareness and share resources on sickle cell anemia. Alpha Alpha Gamma Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.will register voters and provide information on voting eligibility and process.

There will be food trucks, family and children activities, voter registration information, a live DJ, live radio remotes, and recorded messages relevant to the importance of Juneteenth. Free admission is on a first-come basis. The Juneteenth Community Day is made possible by Ford Philanthropy. For more information, visit


About the National Civil Rights Museum

The NATIONAL CIVIL RIGHTS MUSEUM, located at the historic Lorraine Motel where civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated, gives a comprehensive overview of the American Civil Rights Movement from slavery to the present. Since the Museum opened in 1991, millions of visitors from around the world have come, including more than 90,000 students annually. Serving as the new public square, the Museum is steadfast in its mission to honors and preserves the site of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr’s assassination.  We chronicle the American civil rights movement and tell the story of the ongoing struggle for human rights, serving as a catalyst to inspire action to create positive social change.  A Smithsonian Affiliate and an internationally acclaimed cultural institution, the Museum is recognized as a 2019 National Medal Award recipient by the Institute of Museums and Library Services (IMLS), the top national honor for museums and libraries.