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MSU Denver honors Juneteenth

The University will observe the June 19 holiday with education and reflection.

By Lindsey Coulter

June 17, 2020

Empty campus.In solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement, Metropolitan State University of Denver has declared the upcoming Juneteenth holiday a day of learning and reflection. On June 19, the University is offering employees the opportunity to engage in activities that expand their awareness and understanding of the holiday and of racial injustice and inequality in hopes of creating a more equitable University community for all.

Board of Trustees members and the University’s senior leaders will take the day to participate in a thoughtful diversity training; this will be the first of many. Learn more about the board’s commitment to anti-racism and supporting all members of our University community.

For employees who choose to engage in learning and awareness building during work hours, there is no need to take action on timesheets or leave reporting. Employees are also encouraged to cancel their meetings and appointments on this day.

Juneteenth commemorates the events of June 19, 1865, when approximately 250,000 black people who remained enslaved in Texas were freed by executive decree. The decree came more than two years after the Emancipation Proclamation took effect, which declared the freedom of all enslaved people in the then-Confederate States. To that point, border states and states that had seceded from the Union had not honored the proclamation, and it was not enforceable in those states until the end of the Civil War. News of emancipation inspired spontaneous celebrations among newly freed people that began the tradition now known as Juneteenth.

Today, Juneteenth is a legal holiday in Texas, and 46 states and the District of Columbia observe it in various capacities. Efforts are building to ensure the holiday — which is also referred to as Emancipation Day, Freedom Day and Black Independence Day — is federally honored as well. In Denver, Juneteenth was observed on June 14 with a parade at Manual High School. Other Denver celebrations will include the Juneteenth Virtual Music Festival, the world’s first virtual global freedom festival, on Thursday.

Topics: Community, Diversity, Events, Inclusion

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