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June 15, 2021

The Emancipation Proclamation was signed by President Abraham Lincoln in 1863, however, it took an additional two years for that news to reach Texas. On June 19, 1865, Union Soldiers arrived in Galveston, Texas to share the proclamation with African Americans living in that state which numbered more than 250,000. The first Juneteenth celebrations occurred in Texas on June 19, 1866 and it has widely grown across the United States over the years since. Also known by several other names including Emancipation Day, Jubilee Day, Freedom Day, and Liberation Day, Juneteenth is a celebration of African Americans’ freedom from slavery. It’s a time for celebrating both the abolishment of slavery and the African American culture and is celebrated in many ways such as religious gatherings, music, arts and crafts, food, and much more.

Just this past Tuesday, Senate unanimously approved a bill that will make Juneteenth a legal public holiday. Although expected to be approved by the House of Representatives, the timeline for that occurrence is unknown at this time.

UNC Professor George Junne will speak at Loveland’s first Juneteenth celebration on Saturday, June 19 from 5:00 – 8:00pm. The celebration will also include musical performances, poetry, arts, and crafts. There are also several Juneteenth celebrations being held in the Denver area including the Juneteenth Music Festival and City of Aurora Juneteenth Celebration among others.

For additional education and personal development related to diversity, equity and inclusion, please use the following resources: DDEI Education and ResourcesDEI & Antiracism Resources from the UNC Libraries, and the Education Equity Toolkit from the Colorado Department of Higher Education.