UC to observe Juneteenth Monday, June 20

Read the joint statement from UC President Neville Pinto and Vice President Bleuzette Marshall

Dear UC Community,

This Sunday marks the 157th anniversary of Juneteenth, a date long celebrated to commemorate the delayed emancipation of enslaved Black people in the United States. In honor of this federal holiday that President Joe Biden signed into law last year, the University of Cincinnati will be closed on Monday, June 20.

Our hope is that we as a university community can use this time to pause and reflect on the horrific injustices of our nation’s past. May we also commit to fighting systemic racial inequalities that continue today and devote ourselves to inclusiveness, equity and justice.

Juneteenth history

While President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863, his edict could not be implemented in places still under Confederate control. When Union troops arrived in Galveston, Texas, on June 19, 1865, the army announced that the more than quarter million enslaved Black people in the state were free by executive decree. This day came to be celebrated as Juneteenth.

Attend an event

We encourage you to consider attending one of the Juneteenth commemorative events occurring in Cincinnati in the coming days. Admission is free at the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center on Sunday, June 19, as part of Fifth Third Community Days. Many additional special events are planned, including the 35th annual Juneteenth Festival in Eden Park on June 18.

As we observe Juneteenth this year, we trust it will serve as a poignant reminder of where we have been as a society and prompt us to do everything in our power to seek a future that is more equal and just for all.

Neville G. Pinto 

Bleuzette Marshall 
Vice President for Equity, Inclusion and Community Impact