34th Annual Black Family Reunion Features Career Fair, Live Music, Cultural Festival and More This Weekend | cultural | Cincinnati

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Photo: facebook.com/2018-Midwest-Black-Family-Reunion-156996714713419/

The Black Family Reunion 2017 launch parade.

Live entertainment, keynote speakers, health services and more take place this weekend as part of Cincinnati’s annual Black Family Reunion event. Now in its 34th year, the well-attended event will be held August 18-21. Events will take place across the city, from Sawyer Point Park to Fountain Square to Avondale. All events are free and open to the public. The four-day event is presented by UC Health.

Highlight programming includes the Black Family Reunion job fair, presented by Superior Career Fair, August 18 at the Hard Rock Casino; the Heritage Breakfast, presented by Fifth-Third Bank, on August 19 in Fountain Square; the Black Family Reunion parade, presented by Nissan, on August 20 in Avondale; a two-day cultural festival Aug. 20-21 at Sawyer Point Park, featuring live music, retailers, local nonprofits, free health checkups and more; a series of keynote speakers, presented by First Financial Bank; and a series of urban concerts.

According to a press release, Black Family Reunion is a celebratory event that aims to “engage the whole man and the whole family.” It takes place every year during the third weekend of August. In Cincinnati, the event typically sees around 10,000 people in attendance. The Midwest Black Family Regional Reunion Celebration was inaugurated in 1989 in Cincinnati by Dr. Dorothy I. Height, President Emeritus of the National Council of Negro Women. The cultural event was created with the goal of bringing “consumers, businesses and communities together to focus on the historical strengths and values ​​of the Black family”. First a nationally celebrated event, Cincinnati remains the only major city to hold the event.

Tracey Artis, CEO of event promotion company JazJordan Inc., has served as executive producer and director of Cincinnati’s Black Family Reunion since 2014. She says that each year the event focuses on a key theme, such as “brave and committed” and “faithful and fearless.” This year’s theme is “bold and beautiful”. She cites the country’s current climate as inspiration, describing how universal feelings of anxiety are for African Americans right now. She says, in response to this, “You have to be bold and brave to get through these times.”

“When people walk into Sawyer Point, see the theme and see the banner, I hope that resonates with them and they see it as an affirmation,” Artis said. CityBeat. “I think it plays out in different ways for different people, but I hope anyone who sees ‘bold and beautiful’ believes they are. Because of the times we live in, this will help uplift and encourage people – that’s why every year we organize this event.We want to uplift, encourage and strengthen the community.

The first of two keynote addresses will take place on August 18 at the Corinth Baptist Church and will feature Dr. Michael Eric Dyson. Dyson is a professor of sociology at Georgetown University and is a New York Times opinion writer and contributing editor to The New Republic and ESPN’s The Undefeated website. The second keynote features Iris Roley, who will speak at the Heritage Breakfast. Roley is the founding leader of the Cincinnati Black United Front, and she played a key role in the city’s historic Collaborative Agreement – a commitment to alternative dispute resolution to resolve social conflict, improve community relations and prevent divisive disputes.

Another highlight of Black Family Reunion is its “Family of the Year” award. J. Phillip and Gail Holloman and their family will be honored at the Heritage Breakfast and will be featured at several events throughout the four day celebration. The Holloman family supports many black businesses in the community and advocates for social justice. Phillip and Gail will be recognized alongside their children Jamia (George) and Desmond (Sidonie) and their grandchildren Trey, Avery, Parker, Jaiden, Leila and Zoe.

Phillip is the Past President of Cintas and Chairman of the Urban League Board of Directors. Phillip and Gail established the 7 Principles Foundation in 2019, which provides grants to nonprofits specializing in childhood development, adult employment training, and social equity advocacy. Jamia is President and CEO, and Gail is Chair of the Board. The Hollomans also operate 7 Principles Investment Group, which invests in real estate, the stock market, cryptocurrency and private equity funds. Desmond is President and CEO, with Phillip as Chairman of the Board.

Philanthropically, the Holloman family has been instrumental in supporting several non-profit organizations in the Cincinnati area as well as the University of Cincinnati. Last year, Phillip and Gail donated $1 million to the Greater Southwest Ohio Urban League. Their contribution established the Center for Social Justice, which focuses on bias-free policing reform and stopping racially biased voter suppression and redistricting policies.

“We don’t do what we do to be recognized,” Phillip said. CityBeat. “But as a family, we were proud to be recognized by the organization that organizes Black Family Reunion. We look forward to participating in this year’s activities.

He adds, “We really hope our story inspires others. Value the family and engage the community. This is our real goal: how can we inspire others? »

The lead sponsor for this year’s Black Family Reunion is UC Health, a position the healthcare group has held since 2018. Senior director of community relations Tamara Lang said the event is a perfect way for UC Health to reach out and engage the community in a more heartwarming way.

“We don’t want people to see us only in an emergency,” Lang said. “It’s really great that people’s first interaction with us is at a community event, at something where they’re really having fun.”

As in years past, they host the UC Health Pavilion at Sawyer Point Park on August 20-21. They will be offering a variety of free health screenings for blood pressure, smoking cessation, lung cancer, early prostate cancer, and head-neck cancer. They offer Stop the Bleed and Take 10 CPR training, and doctors from the Black Men in Medicine group will be available at an “ask a doctor” table.

“It’s a really great day in the sense that it’s possible to offer a lot of these screenings on location,” says Lang. “I love to hear the conversations where people are like, ‘When was the last time you had your blood pressure checked? I do mine,” and the other person does theirs too. It’s positive peer pressure.

Live entertainment at Sawyer Point Park includes neo-soul artist Raheem DeVaughn, who will perform on August 20, and Grammy-winning band The Clark Sisters, who will conclude the Black Family Reunion event with a gospel concert on 21st of August.

All Black Family Reunion events are free and open to the public. To learn more about the time and location of each event, visit myblackfamilyreunion.org.

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