Juneteenth 2023

Several multi-colored hands reach toward the sky with a message stating Juneteenth Freedom Day

June 15, 2023
Robin Kelley/Chief Diversity Officer

Juneteenth, officially declared a federal holiday in 2021, celebrates Black history, culture, arts, activism and empowerment. Juneteenth acknowledges the date June 19, 1865, when news of the Emancipation Proclamation finally reached Galveston, Texas, more than two years after President Abraham Lincoln issued the order. The Proclamation declared "that all persons held as slaves" were free. The holiday provides a moment of collective reflection and celebration of the current and historical achievements of Black/African Americans.

Although the holiday memorializes the ending of an oppressive and violent historical practice, it is also a reminder of the humanity of Black/African Americans and a call for us to honor the spirit of freedom, equity and justice for all throughout the year. We can observe the holiday by educating ourselves further about Black history and achievements, and by challenging oppressive structures, including racism, and working to replace them with structures grounded in equity, inclusion, belonging, social justice and anti-racism.

Juneteenth is a reminder of our past but is also an opportunity to take a moment to respect other cultures and imagine a future where our country and world embodies authentic inclusion and belonging for all. Let this day call us to stand together in solidarity to pursue a society where everyone can thrive and flourish.


Friday, June 16
2023 Pillar Awards, Martin Woldson Theater at The Fox, 6-9 p.m., free, ticket required

Saturday, June 17
Juneteenth Celebration and Resource Fair, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Community Center, 500 S. Stone Ave., 11 a.m.-3 p.m.


Juneteenth Collection at Foley, book display at main entrance
Juneteenth Booklist for All Ages 2023
Juneteenth, NAACP

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