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Nonprofit 2315 ELM (stands for Education, Leadership, Movement) hosted a Juneteenth celebration on Saturday and Sunday.

Saturday’s events featured more of a celebration of the national holiday. Games, food, drinks, and fun was had on the street in front of The Pressroom in downtown Kirksville, which was blocked off to give it more of a block party vibe.

“The whole idea is we wanted to make this a big family event,” Stephanie McGrew, co-founder of 2315 ELM, told KTVO. “We had food all day, we had music, we had people who wanted to do some type of entertainment. We really made it open so the community felt welcome. We had people coming in and out all day. We had around 250 people which is great.”

Sunday’s events saw the travelling black history museum come to town, giving people a chance to learn more about the music and moments that ushered in movements.

“We could go to obvious places that people think museums like this should and would go, New York, L.A., Chicago,” Public Enemy Member Professor Griff told KTVO. “But it’s the places like Kirksville that need this kind of information.”

Professor Griff brought the museum to Kirksville and having been a big part of one of many movements, said it’s everyone’s responsibility to learn, grow and spread the word.

“I just did what I was called to do, but it’s a beautiful thing to have been a part of it. and to help educate young people on not only that movement but other movements. We’ve come a long way, but we have a long way to go, and now they’re a part of it, whether they like it or not.”

Between the celebration Saturday and the community lunch and museum Sunday, residents had plenty of opportunity to learn something about Juneteenth and black history.

2315 ELM co-founder and Stephanie’s sister Jennifer McGrew told KTVO she believes they did just that.

“It’s really nice being able to have such a program in a smaller town where it’s bringing the diversity and it’s bringing awareness to people. A lot of times it’s lack of access. It’s not people trying to be ignorant, it’s that people genuinely don’t know. So when you give people a chance to learn and find out about different cultures, different history, different ideas, a lot of times people are really receptive to it.”

Stephanie and Jennifer told KTVO they look forward to celebrating Juneteenth with the city in 2025.