• Our Annual Programs

    Celebrate moments of African American liberation. Learn about the events that our center offers.

  • IKORE Festival & Greens Cook Off

    Learn about how you can be involved in the deepening of our celebration of home cookin.

  • Juneteenth

    JSAAHC celebrates June 19, 1865, historically referred to as Jubilee Day, commemorating the final enforcement of the Emancipation Proclamation.

  • Staying Connected

    Connect with us to keep up with programs these programs and to learn more about participating in our events.

Annual Programs

Come and celebrate with us those moments of African American liberation! Each year the Center brings our community together to learn and commune.

Liberation and Freedom Day

At the time of the Civil War, 53.3 percent, some 14,000 residents of Charlottesville and Albemarle County were enslaved, an historical fact which remained little known until the 2016 work of the city’s Blue Ribbon Commission on Race, Memorials and Public Spaces (BRC).

At the BRC’s recommendation, in 2017 the Charlottesville City Council proclaimed March 3 to be Liberation and Freedom Day.

The celebration commemorates the March 3-6, 1865, arrival of Union cavalry in the area, when town and university officials surrendered at the current site of the UVA Chapel, and thousands of enslaved residents took the opportunity to escape and follow U.S. troops as they continued their advance toward Petersburg, Virginia.

March 4, 2023 JSAAHC and Prolyfyk will cosponsor a race. The route, totaling a little over 8 miles, will coincide with important markers in the Black history of Charlottesville. 


Kwanzaa was created in 1966 during the aftermath of the Watts riots by Maulana Karenga to give blacks an alternative to the existing Christmas holiday. Kwanzaa derives from the Swahili phrase matunda ya kwanza meaning first fruits. The holiday is centered around the Nguzo Saba (the seven principles of African heritage).
  • Umoja—Unity
  • Kujichagulia—Self determination
  • Ujima—collective work
  • Ujamaa —cooperative economics
  • Nia- purpose
  • Kuumba—creativity
  • Imani—Faith
During the day from 1-4pm, we will enjoy Black business vendors, a kids craft table and a performance by our Eko Ise African Drumming class.
The event is free and open to the public, but we ask that you register.

Evelyn L. Barbour Series

Our series is named after Evelyn L. Barbour, who passed in 2014 at the age of 78 after a short illness. She attended the Jefferson School and was among the first graduating class Jackson P. Burley High School. She was an alumnus of Virginia Union University and the University of Virginia School of Education. She taught in various school systems and retired after more than 30 years of service. Ms. Barbour was a lifelong member of Mount Zion First African Baptist Church and her most notable work in the church was her role as historian. This series celebrates her work documenting history by creating oral histories in the form of conversation and connection.


In 2023 we will be talking about diversity, equity and inclusion work. As more organizations create and hire for their own departments, the work that was supposed to be done has been co-opted by the system it was created in. When altered by the system of supremacy it becomes “Black Face of White Power”.


In January we talk with an emerging leader in this conversation, Matthew Reynolds, who left teaching to create a tool that anyone can use to understand what equity means to them and how to live into that in the world.


In February we spoke with Dr. Avina Ross formerly with Princeton University. She and three of her colleagues in DEI exited at nearly the same time, for some of the same reasons.


In April we speak with Siri Russell, Assoc. Dean for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at the University of Virginia’s School of Data Science.


On August 15 we will sit down with Dr. T. J. Tallie, Assoc. Professor, History Director, Africana Studies at University of San Diego. He specializes in the comparative settler colonial and imperial history, with a focus on South Africa.  His interests, broadly defined, involve colonialism, gender and racial identity, indigeneity, and religious expression.  At USD, he teaches courses in African History, Global History, Pacific History, and Gender and Sexuality. 



IKORE Festival & Greens Cook Off

The annual JSAAHC Ikore Festival will bring together Black farmers and the community that cooks to create a space where we can showcase a farm to table experience. Black farmers will supply the food to be prepared by cooks that sign up to compete, cooking in three categories. The day of the festival, the farms will be on our yard showcasing their wares, beside the cooks who are participating in the Greens Cook Off.

Each ticket purchased will recieve chips they can use to vote for the best cook as they sample food. You can purchase more chips on the day of to vote as many times as you like.

This is how we celebrate the delectable dishes Black folk make as well as the people who grow it for them, while creating an opportunity to grow their businesses. Over the past few years, Black farmers and Black owned farms have been growing. 

Ikore means harvest in the Yoruban language spoken in Nigeria. The African continent is host to multiple festivals related to harvest during the year, depending on your location and tribal affiliation. The organizations partnering to create the Ikore Festival create another way for the Black community to connect to our African heritage while supporting each other communally and financially.

If you would like to be a cook this year or be part of the planning email publicprograms@jeffschoolheritagecenter.org.

Ikore Festival Cook Registration Form (#18)

Ikore Festival

Date : September 8                 Time: 11:00 am              
Please use the form below to sign up to be a cook or a vendor for the festival.


Also known as Freedom Day, Jubilee Day, and Liberation Day commemorates the day that enslaved people in Galveston Texas were finally emancipated. Although originated in Texas, Juneteenth became more widely celebrated in the South during the 1920s.

We are currently looking for volunteers to help plan and execute our Juneteenth Celebration this year. Use the QR code, or click on the graphic to sign up.

View Upcoming Events

Visit our events section to see our upcoming annual programs, gallery talks, exhibitions and more.

Contact Us

Have questions about this exhibition? Send us a message. We are happy to answer any questions.

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