By Eli Hughes–

The University of Louisville announced on May 25 that, starting this year, Juneteenth will now be recognized as a university-wide holiday. Juneteenth is celebrated annually on June 19 as a commemoration of the last enslaved people in the United States to learn of and receive emancipation.

“Juneteenth, short for June Nineteenth, marks the day in 1865 when the enslaved persons in Texas and other southern states were finally freed – more than two years after President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation,” President Neeli Bendapudi said in the email announcement.

“Juneteenth represents freedom for our Black community and is a powerful reminder that racial and social justice are goals that are still to be fully realized. There is great success in our country’s history, and there is also great failure. When we acknowledge both, we can understand our wholeness better and begin to heal the wounds of our past.”

Juneteenth falls on a Saturday this year, so U of L classes and offices will be closed on June 18 in recognition of the holiday.

In addition to the university closing on June 18, there will also be a variety of events held that week to help educate and bring awareness to the university community. These include a lecture by Vanderbilt University Professor Michael Dyson, a learning café lead by the Employee Success Center with the founder of the Roots 101 African American Museum Lamont Collins, and a talk sponsored by the Office of Diversity and Equity and the Black Faculty/Staff Association with sociologist Oliver Rollins.

All of these events will be held virtually and more information can be found on U of L’s event page.

Graphic by Eli Hughes//The Louisville Cardinal