The City of Kettering Proclamation on Diversity

Kettering is home to people with varying backgrounds, incomes, religions, ethnicities, ages and experiences. It is a community that strives to be a welcoming, safe place where everyone feels valued. The City of Kettering denounces racism in all its forms. Beyond merely acknowledging the history and existence of racism in the United States, we continue to focus on strengthening equity in our local institutions, policies and programs. We affirm a commitment to anti-racism, fairness and justice for all of our citizens, neighbors and visitors.

Juneteenth: Celebrating Freedom
Monday, June 19, 2023
Fraze Pavilion

FREE ADMISSION - Open to the Public!


4:00-5:00 PM                   Luv Locz Experiment

5:30-6:15 PM                  

National Anthem and Black National Anthem - Dr. Candace McCoy

Opening Remarks, Mayor Peggy Lehner

Student Winners of the 2023 MLK Jr Essay Contest

Keynote, Faheem Curtis-Khidr

6:15-7:00 PM                   Luv Locz Experiment

Presented by the Kettering Board of Community Relations and City of Kettering Parks, Recreation & Cultural Arts

Join us for Kettering’s Second Annual Juneteenth Celebration! This free, family event features live music from Luv Locz Experiment, food trucks, local vendors, crafts for children and an inspiring, informative keynote address by historian and TEDx Talk presenter Faheem Curtis-Khidr.

Luv Locz Experiment
4:00-5:00 PM, 6:15-7:00 PM

This Dayton-based, reggae-infused, funk’n soul band brings a unique sound and the perfect energy to the celebration. From original music to their own twist on favorite tunes, you’ll be transported to the islands to dance your troubles away!

Faheem Curtis-Khidr
5:30-6:15 PM

A hit at Kettering’s first Juneteenth celebration in 2022, Faheem Curtis-Khidr delivered a personal, compelling presentation that brought history home to our community. Faheem is a tenured faculty member and Equity Fellow at Sinclair Community College. His local research project on West Dayton’s Hog Bottom neighborhood has been recognized and showcased at the REACH Conference, The National Afro-American Museum & Cultural Center, and by the Association for the Study of African American Life and History. Faheem has provided equity trainings and presentations, including a TEDxDayton Talk on the need for equity in the university experience.

Local Minority-Owned Businesses, Arts & Crafts, and more:

  • Kettering Health
  • Chicken Heads Ghost Kitchen
  • The Cookieologist
  • Pooter Mae
  • Seven Spa
  • Vegan It Iz Eats
  • Evolv U Fit Academy
  • Dayton Fit Lab
  • MacBrand Clothing
  • Welcome Home Dayton
  • The Art of Yetunde Rodriguez
  • African American Visual Artists Guild (AAVAG)
  • Dayton Metro Library Bookmobile

Food Trucks:

  • iQuisines – freshly made-to-order stuffed chicken & waffles and dessert waffles
  • De’Lish – Dayton’s Best Creole, Cajun and Soul Food
  • Diamond Daiquiris – delicious sno-balls and daiquiris with homemade syrups
  • Scooby’s BBQ

Student Winners of the 2023 MLK Jr Essay Contest

What is Juneteenth?

While the Emancipation Proclamation of January 1, 1863, had freed enslaved people in all the Southern secessionist states, change wasn’t instant and word traveled slowly. In June 1865, Texas was the last remaining state in the Confederacy to still hold institutional slavery. On June 19, 1865, federal troops arrived in Galveston to take control of the state and proclaim freedom for the enslaved people of Texas.

In June 2021, Congress passed a resolution establishing Juneteenth as a national holiday, which President Biden signed into law on June 17, 2021. Kettering officially recognized Juneteenth as a holiday in 2022.

We’re so glad you’ve joined us to celebrate the essential importance of our shared freedom, because as Martin Luther King, Jr. said, “No one is free until we are all free.”

Kettering City Schools MLK, Jr. Essay Contest

Each year, middle and high school students in Kettering are invited to enter a Martin Luther King, Jr. Essay Contest sponsored by the Board of Community Relations. This year, students were asked to write a 500 word persuasive essay about their views on racism and ideas for making their school, their community, or the world in general a better place for all. Two high school winners will read their winning essays.

Faheem Curtis-Khidr

Faheem is a tenured faculty member in Sinclair Community College’s history and AFS programs. Faheem’s local research project covering West Dayton’s now defunct Hog Bottom neighborhood has been recognized and showcased at the REACH Conference, National AfroAmerican Museum & Cultural Center, by the Association for The Study of African American Life and History. Faheem is co-lead of the Ubuntu Study abroad program with Furaha Henry-Jones. The Ubuntu program is the only study abroad program nationally at the community college level with an acute academic focus on Sub-Saharan Africa. As a TedTalk alum, and Parity Inc. Top Ten African American male recipient, black thought, black academia, and black excellence is very much at the forefront of Faheem’s socio-academic nexus.

About the Event Organizers

The Board of Community Relations promotes and encourages the creation and maintenance of an inclusive community by fostering equal opportunities for all persons. The Board is made up of volunteer community members who use their time of service to engage with the community through activities such as movie showings, annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. essay contests and more. For more information visit

The Parks, Recreation and Cultural Arts Department provides quality parks, recreation and cultural arts that make Kettering home. As a department and a city, we strive to provide equitable and meaningful access to all of our services. We work closely with the City of Kettering’s Compliance and Inclusion office, the Kettering City Schools, and various community partners to ensure opportunities for all people. For more information, visit


Special thank you to those who made this program possible:

Kettering City Council:
Peggy Lehner, Mayor
Jacque Fisher, Vice Mayor, At Large
Jyl Hall, At Large
Lisa Duvall, District 1
Bob Scott, District 2
Tony Klepacz, District 3
Bruce E. Duke, District 4

Matt Greeson, City Manager
Mary Beth O’Dell, Director of Parks, Recreation and Cultural Arts
Tom Robillard, Planning and Development Director
The Juneteenth Planning Committee:
Lisa Duvall, Council Liaison to Board of Community Relations
Calvin Frazer, Operations Coordinator, Fraze Pavilion
Tawana Jones, Board of Community Relations
Shayna McConville, Division Manager of Cultural Arts
Gwen Owen, Board of Community Relations Chair
Angela Rahman, Staff Liaison to Board of Community Relations

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