The National Holiday of Juneteenth

Dear Tulane Community:

I am very pleased that National Emancipation Day has been declared an official national holiday. Beginning next year, Tulane will observe Juneteenth as an official university holiday. We will also mark it as a time to remember how much more work must be done and progress must be made in order to build a truly equitable, diverse, and inclusive campus community.

Juneteenth commemorates the day, June 19, 1865, when African American people in Galveston, Texas, finally learned slavery had ended due to the Union victory in the Civil War. It is believed that these individuals were the last enslaved persons in the country to hear the words of the Emancipation Proclamation, which had been signed two years earlier. With freedom as its central theme, Juneteenth is a universal holiday that all of us can embrace and engage in by learning more about what African American communities experienced during slavery and the resulting legacy of racial injustice.

Today, we will host a Juneteenth celebration from 3 to 5 p.m. in Room 117 of the Richardson Building (Building Number 5) on the uptown campus. The event is sponsored by the Office of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion and the Carolyn Barber-Pierre Center for Intercultural Life. You can find more information here.

Each one of us has an important role in countering racism on our campus and in our society at large. The Juneteenth holiday presents an opportunity to educate ourselves about this seminal event in American history and fully experience it as a moment to celebrate and renew our commitment to help heal the lingering inequalities and injustices of slavery.