Message from the Office of the President: Commemorating Juneteenth

June 17, 2022

Dear students, faculty, and staff,

On June 19, 1865, General Gordon Granger announced in Galveston, Texas that all slaves are free. While the Emancipation Proclamation went into effect on January 1, 1863, it took more than two years for that message to make its way across the country. First known as Jubilee Day, Juneteenth has since been celebrated in Black communities and beyond throughout the nation.

Last year, this day was first proclaimed as a federal holiday, and in 2022, Juneteenth will be observed on Monday, June 20. The University will recognize Juneteenth with two planned celebrations. Please feel free to join the celebration in North Minneapolis on Saturday, June 18, in Duluth June 16-19, or another event near you. Juneteenth is also a no-class day for University students systemwide, and we encourage individuals who are interested in recognizing the day to use one of their two extra personal days that the University provided to employees this year.

As we recognize this important marker, and the words from Granger’s General Orders No. 3, which called for “an absolute equality of personal rights,” let us recommit as a community toward greater inclusion, equity, and justice. Let us continue our work to become the community of belonging we aspire to be, and to acknowledge that we are better and stronger because of our diversity and lived experiences. And let us join together in commemorating the past and our call to action on Juneteenth - this day and every day.

With best regards,
Joan Gabel