For the second year in a row, Goodman Center is hosting a huge Soul Food Brunch to celebrate Juneteenth. The brunch, which was a big hit last year, is expected to be even bigger this time around.
This year’s brunch will be in the new Brassworks building and run from 11am-1pm on Saturday, June 22. Entry will range from $8-18 depending on what is affordable. Soul food will be provided by Kipp’s Kitchen.
2019 will feature an entertaining program as well as an opportunity to tackle community issues. Brandi Grayson, who has been at the forefront of advocating for youth of color in Madison, will be the keynote speaker.
“The theme this year is moving from perseverance to power,” said Goodman Center’s Tara Wilhelmi, who organized the event. “We’re going to do some entertaining and then we’re also awarding some community leaders. So that’s focused on some of what I call the unsung leaders in our neighborhoods, folks who aren’t necessarily always being recognized but are really impacting folks around them or their neighborhoods or organizations.”
Wilhelmi told Madison365 that some of the award recipients are still being notified and that there will be a youth award recipient, Nazir Andruss.
“He is quite an inspiring story,” Wilhelmi said. “One of our youth mentors contacted him while he was in JRC facing some different charges a couple years ago. And he has since gotten engaged at the Goodman Center. He’s graduating this year and he is also becoming quite a leader in the neighborhood. He led the way at our Ready4Change Social Justice Summit and he’s kind of branching out, so he has won the award.”
The brunch will feature a fashion show from African ‘n’ American Fits, a local clothing retailer run by Yankuba Janneh, who is from the Gambia, and combines American hip hop culture with traditional African clothing. Most of the clothing is manufactured in Africa and imported here. Fits has put on spectacular shows in the past and has had kiosks in local malls.
Drum Power will provide entertainment as well, with a drum and dance team. There will also be music provided by Shibon Patterson, of Bogart Entertainment. Shibon has been an up and coming R&B artist. She released her first worldwide single “He say, She say” last winter and will perform on June 22.
Following the brunch there will be an FYI Youth Basketball tournament from 1:30-4 p.m. It will feature ten-minute games of 3 on 3 for K-5th graders as well as an all-ages two-ball competition. There will also be a Health Fair over at Fountain of Life Church later in the afternoon on the 22nd.
All in all, it’s adding up to a spectacular event. Wilhelmi has worked tirelessly to bring her vision of a major Juneteenth celebration to fruition and, as successful as last year’s was, she is determined to have even more fun this year.
“I wanted to create something for the east side that could go along with the Juneteenth celebration but just have a little bit different feel and be something really for the eastside folks,” Wilhelmi said. “And we’ll be in Brassworks, in the new building, so that’ll be exciting.”