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ROC Juneteenth Run/Walk Celebrates Local Leaders and an Historic Proclamation

Roc Juneteenth 2023 Run/Walk info.

This year, the seventh annual Roc Juneteenth 5K Run/Walk celebrates the 160-year anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation of 1863, along with “Juneteenth,” the anniversary of June 19, 1865, when the last enslaved people in the country were freed by resistant slaveholders in Texas.

The run/walk will take place at 1 p.m. in Genesee Valley Park on Monday, June 19, 2022, Riverbend Shelter. The cost of the virtual race is $10; the cost of the in-person race is $25 ($30 the day of the race).

To register, click the link: Roc Juneteenth 2023 5K Run/Walk or at

The Juneteenth event is also commemorating two beloved Rochester Civil Rights leaders:

  • The late Minister Franklin D. Florence, activist who took led Civil Rights movement and decades-long fight here for equity in employment, and

  • Bobby Johnson, a bebop poet and author who grew up in the Clarissa Street neighborhood and chronicled Rochester’s jazz scene, centered around the legendary Pythodd Jazz Club at Clarissa and Troup streets. Johnson was named the ‘Bard of Clarissa Street’.

The run/walk will benefit the Minister Franklin D. Florence Rochester Civil Rights Heritage Park, dedicated in October 2021 to Minister Florence, considered a key leader in the Rochester Black Freedom Struggle. This project was spearheaded by the Spiritus Christi Anti-Racism Coalition (SPARC) and has been supported by the First Universalist Initiative for Racial Equity (FIRE), the First Unitarian Church, the City of Rochester, the State of New York, and many local philanthropists. The site, located in Baden Park near Upper Falls, will explore Civil Rights leaders, their stories, and their struggles.

Participants can relax after the race with a free concert at Genesee Valley Park's Roundhouse Pavilion, taking place from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., featuring Ryan Johnson, Kholaa Welch, Ronald Carlton Wilcox, Nefee VP Smith and Alex Parris, as well as an ensemble led by RPO trumpeter Herb Smith.

For additional information on the race or sponsorship opportunities available, please contact race organizer Gloria Johnson-Hovey at (585) 775-5599 or via email at

Visit the organization's Facebook at and learn more about Juneteenth at


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