In signing legislation making Juneteenth a federal holiday, President Joe Biden asked Americans to “ … feel the power of this day and learn from our history, celebrate progress, and grapple with the distance we’ve come (and) the distance we have to travel.”

As you are aware, Juneteenth – also known as Emancipation Day, Black Independence Day, and Jubilee Day – commemorates June 19, 1865, when enslaved African Americans in Texas finally learned their freedom had been granted by the Emancipation Proclamation.

It calls us to reflect on the sacrifices of those who struggled to make Juneteenth possible and on the continuing struggles our nation and community have with the negative impacts of racism. As we fulfill Capital’s own promise to transform lives, let us remember to do so with a commitment to inclusion, respect, equality, critical dialogue, justice, hope, and humanity. Juneteenth is an opportunity to join together, to learn from one another, and to honor an important day in U.S. history.

I will ask the campus community to work together over the next several months to plan a meaningful celebration for Juneteenth 2022. One that not only recognizes the federal holiday and celebrates freedoms promised, but one that also allows us to commit to doing more to fulfill the promise the day represents.

I hope you will join the City of Bexley’s Juneteenth celebration tomorrow (Saturday, June 19) from 12 to 5 p.m. on Capital’s Main Street lawn. Activities for the entire family have been planned, including music, poetry, and the Juneteenth Marketplace, which features the products and services of area Black-owned businesses. Click here for a schedule of events and a list of Marketplace participants.