BC Juneteenth Event Celebrates Education and Freedom

group smiling and celebrating juneteenth
Bakersfield College's inaugural Juneteenth celebration took place in the Fireside Room at the Panorama Campus, marking a significant milestone for the institution. The event commenced with a heartfelt welcome from Steve Watkin, BC's first African-American president, who expressed his gratitude to the diverse audience in attendance. One of the notable guest speakers, Dee Slade, the Executive Director for the African American Network of Kern County, continued the program by highlighting BC's pivotal role as a "beacon on the hill" for African Americans seeking higher education opportunities in Kern County.

The highlight of the event was the keynote address by Morgan Clayton, Founder and CEO of Tel-Tec Security Systems. Clayton captivated the crowd with his gripping life story and shared a deeply symbolic artifact: authentic slave chains and iron that had been in his family's possession for over a century and a half. Passed down to him by his grandfather, Clayton regarded these relics as a powerful reminder of his freedom from the shackles of the past, urging all present to break free from any limitations hindering their progress. The event also featured Jonathan Corker, co-founder of A2mend, African American Male Education Network & Development, who eloquently shared his experiences as a devoted father and returning student, providing a relatable narrative for many in attendance.

BC looks forward to many more Juneteenth Celebrations and opportunities to highlight our diverse students and community.

steve watkin

Dee Slade

Morgan Clayton

Jonathan Corker