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Texas Wesleyan University Honors Juneteenth by Walking 2.5 Miles with Opal Lee

06.22.2022 | By: Texas Wesleyan University

On Saturday, June 18, members of the Texas Wesleyan Executive Staff and faculty participated in the 2022 Opal Lee’s Walk for Freedom. The 2.5-mile walk is held to commemorate the 2.5 years that it took for the news of freedom to reach all enslaved people in the United States.

“At Texas Wesleyan, we believe in engaging with our community to drive diversity, inclusion and civic responsibility,” said University President Fredrick G. Slabach. “It was an honor to walk alongside other members of our community and honor Juneteenth by walking 2.5 miles with Opal Lee."

In 2016, the then 89-year-old Ms. Opal began Opal’s Walk 2 DC. The walk, held in 2.5-mile increments, sought to bring attention to the need to recognize Juneteenth as a national holiday. Ms. Opal succeeded in her campaign, as President Joe Biden signed the Juneteenth National Independence Day Act on June 17, 2021 in a ceremony with Ms. Opal present which officially established Juneteenth as a national holiday.

“It was inspiring to join Dr. Opal Lee, at 95 years young, and the Fort Worth community in this year’s Opal’s Walk for Freedom,” said Alan Liebrecht, Texas Wesleyan University vice president of enrollment management, marketing and communications. “We had 18 participants join the Texas Wesleyan team and ended up in the top ten teams in donations for the event.”

Once the walk concluded, Fort Worth Mayor Mattie Parker announced that June 18 will be named Fort Worth’s Opal’s Walk For Freedom Day. Learn more about Opal’s Walk for Freedom here.

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At Texas Wesleyan, we have a rich history and a Texas-sized reputation. As stewards of the University, it is our responsibility to build a future as bright as our past.