Texas Wesleyan University is proud to announce the 2021 speaker for the Goostree Symposium, Ms. Opal Lee. All students, faculty, alumni and members of the community are invited to attend the event at noon on Thursday, Oct. 28 in the Martin Center. Mark your calendar and register now so you can be a part of this special event.
About Opal Lee
Ms. Opal Lee, the “Grandmother of Juneteenth,” is a native of Fort Worth. She graduated in 1943 at the age of 16 from the historic I.M. Terrell High School. After graduating from Wiley College, she became an educator in the Fort Worth Independent School District, serving as a teacher and counselor for 25 years. It was in retirement that Ms. Lee’s passion for community activism flourished. Ms. Lee helped establish the Tarrant County Black Historical & Genealogical Society, which is dedicated to the preservation of the history of the Fort Worth Black populace. She has served many local organizations, championing a variety of causes and community development initiatives.
Her lifelong goal was to ensure that Juneteenth, the day commemorating the emancipation of slaves after the Civil War, became a national holiday. Driven by her commitment to the cause, at the age of 90, Ms. Lee completed her famous "Opal’s Walk 2 DC" where she walked from Fort Worth to Washington D.C. On June 17, 2021, President Biden passed a bill making Juneteenth a national holiday. Ms. Lee stood alongside the president during this historic occasion and received the pen he used to sign the law.