GRAND FORKS – Two events are planned here to recognize June 19 as the federal holiday that commemorates the end of slavery in the U.S. Both involve film presentations planned for the Empire Arts Center and the UND Memorial Union.

The Love in Action organization and the Empire Arts Center will present a film, “Juneteenth: Faith and Freedom,” at 6 p.m. Wednesday, June 19, at the arts center, 415 DeMers Ave. The event is free and open to the public.

The film, which runs for one hour, 15 minutes, will be followed by a panel discussion moderated by Sharmon Lebby. Panelists will include Bishop Michael Cole, Alvin Killough and Kimisean Liggett. Lebby is a consultant for nonprofit organizations and a brand strategist.

The post-screening discussion panel will provide audience members with the opportunity to delve more deeply into the core themes of the film, encouraging dialogue and reflection, according to an event announcement.

Presented as an exploration of history and faith, the event is meant to serve as a means of celebrating Juneteenth through an educational and informative experience.


“Juneteenth: Faith and Freedom” is an unscripted documentary that delves into the holiday that commemorates the end of legalized slavery in Texas through the eyes of a Black man learning from the direct descendants of those who were liberated in 1865.

The journey begins in Galveston, where the historic announcement of liberation occurs, and continues on to Houston and Dallas, all the while consulting with historians, artists, community organizers and leaders of the Black Church.

This powerful documentary offers hope and the insight that faith possesses the potential to become the greatest weapon against injustice, according to the announcement from the Empire Arts Center.

For more information, call the Empire Arts Center at (701) 746-5500.

At the Hilyard Center in the UND Memorial Union, a streaming of the film, “High on the Hog: How African American Cuisine Transformed America,” is set for noon to 1 p.m.

The event, which is free and open to the public, will take place on the social stairs in the Memorial Union.

According to a synopsis of the film, “Black food is American food. Chef and food writer Stephen Satterfield traces the delicious, moving throughlines from Africa to Texas in this acclaimed series.”

The film is part of a TV docu-series released on Netflix in May 2021, starring Satterfield, Gabrielle E.W. Carter and Jessica Harris. It is based on the book “High on the Hog: A Culinary Journey from Africa to America”.


For more information, contact Stacey Borboa-Peterson, director of The Hilyard Center at UND, (701) 777-4362.

Pamela Knudson is a features and arts/entertainment writer for the Grand Forks Herald.

She has worked for the Herald since 2011 and has covered a wide variety of topics, including the latest performances in the region and health topics.

Pamela can be reached at or (701) 780-1107.