Recognizing Juneteenth in 2022

Students, faculty, and staff will have the day off on Monday, June 20. 

Lee C. Bollinger
March 22, 2022

Once again this year, Columbia University will recognize Juneteenth with a day off for faculty, students, and staff on Monday, June 20, 2022. The day commemorates the end of slavery in the United States by honoring the events of June 19, 1865, when union troops arrived in Galveston, Texas, to inform enslaved African Americans that they were free and the Civil War was over.

Celebrations marking the historic day began among Black Americans in Texas the following year and spread to other states and cities around the country. Observers marked the occasion with celebratory family gatherings and religious and secular rituals, including the reading of the Emancipation Proclamation. In 1980, Texas became the first state to declare Juneteenth an official holiday. 49 states and the District of Columbia now recognize it as well.

I hope you will use the day to reflect on this important moment in our nation’s history and the Americans, particularly the Black Americans, who have fought so hard to push this country towards realizing its highest ideals.