ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — The sixth annual ROC Juneteenth 5K will be held on Sunday, June 19 at 1:00 p.m. at Genesee Valley Park in Rochester.
Race Director Gloria Johnson-Hovey discussed the event and how the proceeds will be used Friday during News 8 at Sunrise.
“We’re very excited,” Johnson-Hovey said. “This year the ROC Juneteenth 5K, it’s always held on June 19, also coincides with Father’s Day. And this year the CGI Rochester International Jazz Festival is sponsoring our event and we are very excited that we will have two jazz performances at Baden Park in Rochester after our 5K at 1:00 p.m. at Genesee Valley Park.”
Johnson-Hovey is passionate about putting a spotlight on Juneteenth.
“It is long overdue and it is an incredible celebration of the end of America’s worst atrocity, the end of chattel slavery. Had we celebrated from 1865 until now I think we would probably be in a different place regarding race relations. It feels very new to people who are just learning about it but we did not have this in our history books and we’re catching up. We’re playing catch-up. We want to know all that happened and we want to recognize these important dates in history and celebrate them.”
Proceeds from the ROC Juneteenth 5K will support the Franklin Florence Civil Rights Heritage Park.
“The Heritage Park is at Baden Park and it’s in the 14605 area,” explained Johnson-Hovey. “It’s a place not far from where the race uprising took place in the 1960s. It’s very purposeful. Minister Franklin Florence was inspirational in moving people forward in racial justice. He took on Kodak for the inequality in their hiring practices. So black people will be able to tell their story – as they saw it, as they experienced it. The Park will be a space for that, a learning space for our community and our children so we’re very excited about it.”
To register and learn more about the fundraiser visit Juneteenth5kitsyourrace.com.