Bloomfield College President Marcheta P. Evans and her spouse, Ed Evans, recently joined invited attendees at the White House’s inaugural Juneteenth Concert on the South Lawn – all guests of President Biden and Dr. Jill Biden – in “celebration of community, culture and music.”
The event, planned to recognize Juneteenth Day and the month of June as Black Music Month, was hosted by the White House and supported by the National Endowment for the Arts, National Endowment for the Humanities, Pernod Ricard USA, STARZ #TaketheLead Initiative and The Recording Academy, and featured numerous Black artists including Tony Award winner Audra McDonald, singer and talk show host Jennifer Hudson, and Cliff “Method Man” Smith, a member of the hip-hop group Wu-Tang Clan.
“I was thrilled to receive the invitation,” said Evans, who serves as Bloomfield College’s first woman and first African-American to lead New Jersey’s only four-year institution designated a Predominantly Black Institution (PBI), a Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI) and a Minority Serving Institution (MSI). “Having Bloomfield College represented at the White House’s inaugural Juneteenth Concert is indicative of the growing understanding of the contributions PBIs are making in our country’s economy as we propel the social mobility of our graduates, their families and the many generations that follow.”
Juneteenth, which commemorates the end of slavery in the United States on June 19, 1865, the day news of their freedom was delivered to slaves in Texas in 1865, more than two years after Lincoln declared the end to slavery, was signed into law as a federal holiday by President Biden on June 17, 2021. Earlier, on the state level, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy signed Juneteenth Day legislation on September 10, 2020 to declare the third Friday in June as a paid holiday for state employees. Soon thereafter, on October 8, 2020, Evans announced a Juneteenth Day paid holiday at the private Bloomfield College.
“Juneteenth Day has always been very meaningful to me personally, as it is to our College community,” said Evans. “Growing up in Alabama during the Civil Rights era, I never imagined that I would be attending a Juneteenth Day concert on the White House lawn. It was a highly inspiring and encouraging day!”
Nearly 50 percent of Bloomfield College students are Black and 92 percent come from diverse socioeconomic and cultural backgrounds. Nearly 70 percent are Pell Grant eligible. The College is poised to complete a planned merger with Montclair State University at the end of June 2023 in an innovative public-private collaboration that will establish Bloomfield College of Montclair State University, maintaining its mission and its long legacy of providing access to higher education for underserved populations.
Photo: Bloomfield College President Marcheta P. Evans (photo right) and her spouse, Ed Evans (photo left), recently joined invited attendees at the White House’s inaugural Juneteenth Concert on the South Lawn – all guests of President Biden and Dr. Jill Biden – in “celebration of community, culture and music.”