“A Conversation with Ms. Opal Lee: the Grandmother of Juneteenth” will be held at 3 p.m. March 27 at Burruss Hall (800 Drillfield Drive) in Blacksburg and also will be livestreamed. This event is free and open to the public and will be part of Virginia Tech’s 1872 Forward celebration weekend.
Lee, often described as the “grandmother of Juneteenth,” is a retired teacher, counselor, and activist in the movement to make Juneteenth a federally recognized holiday. On June 17, 2021, President Biden signed Senate bill 475, making Juneteenth the 11th federal holiday. Lee has been nominated for the 2022 Nobel Peace Prize.
During Virginia Tech’s event, Lee will share her wisdom about advocating for equality as an activist and a leader.
“We are excited to have Ms. Opal Lee at Virginia Tech, as this is an opportunity for our students and the community to learn about women in leadership, civil rights, and the importance of advocating for inclusivity,” said James Bridgeforth, assistant vice president for student affairs and ExperienceVT.
The event is sponsored by the Elizabeth A. “Betsy” Flanagan Women in Leadership and Philanthropy Endowed Lecture Fund, Virginia Tech Student Affairs, the I WILL Council, and VT Engage: The Center for Leadership and Service Learning.