Watch: Mayor Bruce Teague and Supervisor Royceann Porter discuss Juneteenth, Black Lives Matter and the Black Voices Project

Video still of Mayor Bruce Teague and Supervisor Royceann Porter during “Community Connection,” June 18, 2020.

During the Thursday edition of Iowa City’s online program Community Connection, Mayor Bruce Teague and Johnson County Supervisor Royceann Porter discussed Saturday’s Juneteenth Celebration on the Pentacrest, as well as the recent protests in the city and the country.

Although other Juneteenth celebrations have had to be canceled due to COVID-19, the Iowa Freedom Riders, who had led most of the recent protests in the city, and the Black Voices Project, which has worked on racial equity and social justice issues in Iowa City since 2014, are hosting a free, family-friendly celebration featuring food, live music and speakers on Saturday.

“We know people are worried about social distancing, so we are all on top of it,” Porter said. In addition to being the first black person elected to county-wide office in Johnson County, Porter is the president of the Black Voices Project and one of its co-founders.

Porter said face masks will be available for anyone who comes to the Pentacrest without one, as well as hand sanitizer and several handwashing stations.

The Black Voices Project has been working with the Iowa Freedom Riders, whose demands for change formed the basis of the 17-point resolution the Iowa City Council passed on Tuesday night.

“I think it was awesome that people are coming onboard and seeing what’s needed in our community,” Porter said.

Teague agreed, and pointed to the influence of the nationwide protests allied with the Black Lives Matter movement.

“I think the Black Lives Matter movement has really opened up people within our community’s eyes to say, ‘Hey, we need to take a serious look at what’s happening with people of color, black people within our community. And take action now. Not kick it down the road or have this long-drawn-out plan,’” the mayor said.

“That’s what we saw within our council on Tuesday.”

Porter also discussed how the Black Voices Project has begun to expand beyond Iowa City. Coralville residents are now joining the group to push for change.

“We’re growing, and it’s a wonderful thing to see,” she said. “Because it’s powerful to see that the things that we’ve been shouting for so long are starting to come to fruition.”

There will be a march starting from the Pentacrest at 1 p.m. on Saturday. The Juneteenth celebration on the Pentacrest is scheduled to begin at 3 p.m and last until 8 p.m.

Thoughts? Tips? A cute picture of a dog? Share them with LV »

The Future is Unwritten

You look to Little Village for today’s stories. Your sustaining support will help us write tomorrow’s.


$10/mo or $120/year
The cost of doing this work really adds up! Your contribution at this level will cover telephone and internet expenses for one month at the LV editorial offices.


$20/mo or $240/year
$240 is enough to cover one month’s costs for sending out our weekly entertainment newsletter, The Weekender. Make a contribution at this level to put a little more oomph on your support and your weekend.


$30/mo or $360/year
(AUTO-RENEW) connects eastern Iowa culture with the world. Your contribution at this level will cover the site’s hosting costs for three months. A bold move for our boldest supporters!

All monthly and annual contributors receive:

  • Recognition on our Supporters page (aliases welcome)
  • Exclusive early access when we release new half-price gift cards
  • Access to a secret Facebook group where you can connect with other supporters and discuss the latest news and upcoming events (and maybe swap pet pics?) with the LV staff
  • Invitations to periodic publisher chats (held virtually for now) to meet with Matt and give him a piece of your mind, ask your burning questions and hear more about the future plans for Little Village, Bread & Butter Magazine, Witching Hour Festival and our other endeavors.