For Immediate Release
May 21, 2024
Contact Information

William Marshall, Founder & Producer
WPA (Pittsburgh) Juneteenth Homecoming Celebration

(BPRW) Pittsburgh's First Black Mayor Attempts to Takeover Legacy Juneteenth Celebration

Pittsburgh's Grass-Roots Juneteenth Celebration, Started in 2013, is Now Largest in State

(Black PR Wire) In 2013, the grassroot organization Stop the Violence Pittsburgh (STVP) produced the "Pittsburgh Juneteenth Homecoming Celebration" in Downtown Pittsburgh. By 2023 Economic Impact Survey reports issued by VisitPITTSBURGH and STVP, now demonstrate that this grassroots Juneteenth saw over 50,000 attendees from across the nation, and generated $4.2 million via Tourism and Small Business Vendor activities. The Pittsburgh Juneteenth is now the largest Black-lead festival in Pennsylvania.

In 2022, Pittsburgh elected its first Black Mayor - Ed Gainey, in its 265 year history of existence. Immediately upon entering office, the Gainey Administration contacted the Pittsburgh Juneteenth producer, William Marshall, and requested to "takeover" the grassroot celebration - Marshall respectfully declined this unusual request. Under the previous Mayor, Bill Peduto, and since 2014, the City of Pittsburgh had been a Co-Sponsor of Marshall's Juneteenth Celebration.

In 2023, because of the success of Marshall's long-term Juneteenth events, Pittsburgh City Council passed legislation to awarded STVP S250,000 towards "Artist Production" in the amount of $125,000 to be issued in 2023, and $125,000 in 2024, using funds from the American Rescue Act COVID Relief Budget. 

In September 2023, the Gainey Administration advised Marshall that it would be "taking back" Juneteenth Funding allocated for 2024 and that it would use that $125,000 to create a "City Ran Juneteenth Celebration" in clear competition of Marshall's existing Festival.

On May 8th, 2024, the Gainey Administration requested Pittsburgh City Council to give the $125,000 funding, previously granted Marshall's group in 2023, to a Gainey Administration Personal and Private Promotion Company - Bounce Marketing LLC. Bounce Marketing has produced three (3) campaign and inauguration events for the Gainey Admminstration, Gainey's 50yr Hip Hop anniversary event, and four (4) City of Pittsburgh Community Picnic events. Bounce Marketing has NEVER PRODUCED a large scale festival event in Pittsburgh.

The STVP Juneteenth Homecoming Celebration is scheduled for June 14-16 in Downtown Pittsburgh but most receive City Permits from the Gainey Administration.

We urge all readers to contact the Gainey Administration and request it to STOP the attempted takeover of this grassroots created Juneteenth event.