Published: 6/18/2024

Reading Time: 2 minutes

In 2021, Juneteenth was designated a federal holiday. Observed on June 19, Juneteenth marks a significant moment in American history—the emancipation of the last enslaved African Americans in Texas in 1865.

While colleges and universities across the country are closed for the holiday, here are some ways institutions honor and celebrate this significant event on campus before and after the June 19 holiday.

Discussions, panels and workshops

Many colleges, including University of Michigan and Northeastern University, host online and in-person discussions with students, faculty and subject matter experts. These events not only provide a deeper understanding of the historical and cultural significance of Juneteenth, but can also foster meaningful and open dialogue around the current issues.

Art exhibits

Art plays a crucial role in capturing the essence of historical events and cultural experiences. Colleges, like Wayne State University, organize art exhibitions that feature thought-provoking works by African American artists to explore African American culture, history and experiences.

Film festivals

Screening films and documentaries that explore African American history and Juneteenth can be a powerful educational tool. Many institutions, like the University of Nebraska, open their on-campus film screenings to the public and include Q&A sessions with the filmmakers to delve into the perspectives and contexts.

Community involvement

Juneteenth can be an opportunity for colleges to work with their surrounding communities involved. Organizing service projects and events, from clean-ups to cookouts, bonds between your institution and local community. Colleges like Everett Community College partner with local centers and organizations to support and participate in community events and celebrations.

Commemorating Juneteenth on college campuses isn’t just about examining the past, but also about inspiring the future. By integrating educational programs, cultural exhibits, community engagement, open discussions and celebrations, colleges can create impactful commemorations that cultivate understanding, reflection and action towards a more equitable society.

Read more about how colleges across the country celebrate Juneteenth at their institutions.

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