By Paige Nash
Neisa Murray, West Virginian turned proud Minden resident. She moved here eight and a half years ago and has made it her personal mission to promote “community unity,” following in the footsteps of the women before her.
“Growing up, I watched my mother, Lajuana Logan, as well as my late grandmother and late great aunt, Pauline Williams and Shirley Merchant-Snipes, be proactive within their community,” said Murray. “This included hosting and participating in Juneteenth and Black History events, as well as donating their time to those who were in need.”
She has carried that inspiration with her for all her life and lucky for us, brought it to Minden.
Over the last few years, she has observed the division within our community, and she felt led to develop an event that would promote unity, freedom, and confidence for all. Pop-up and Pose will be kickstarting Juneteenth Weekend, June 18 at the Minden Civic Center and is completely free to the public.
Juneteenth weekend is a national holiday that is also known as the country’s second Independence Day. Communities have celebrated the emancipation of African American slaves for more than 150 years. Murray has a love for her culture and a love for this community. It is her wish that this event will help Minden grow, not only in knowledge about African American culture, but grow together, as well.
“Pop-Up and Pose is an event that will allow everyone to properly learn, grow and prosper in hopes of unifying our community as one,” said Murray. “Will it happen overnight? Realistically, no. However, all it takes is a journey down the right direction.”
The event will take place from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. There will be an array of businesses to shop with, as well as food vendors. They will be hosting a Mini Job Fair, Kid’s Zone and a Juneteenth Learning Center. Then, beginning at 7 p.m. inside the Minden Civic Center there will be an extravagant Fashion Show and a Mini Hair Show followed by entertainment by comedian and Minden native, Cassie J.
“I am excited to be able to see my vision come to life,” said Murray. “I am hoping next year, it can be part of a multi-day Juneteenth weekend celebration. I believe Minden would love it.”
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