Skip to content


June 14, 2023

Re: Juneteenth

To: All campus



Dear Campus Community,


As we approach the annual Juneteenth holiday, I want to take a moment to reflect upon this important event in American history and highlight its significance for our campus community.


The origins of Juneteenth, also known as Freedom Day, can be traced back to June 19, 1865, when Union General Gordon Granger arrived in Galveston, Texas, to announce the end of slavery, nearly two and a half years after the Emancipation Proclamation had been issued. It marked the beginning of a new chapter, a milestone in the ongoing struggle for freedom and equality.


Juneteenth serves as a reminder of the extraordinary resilience and strength displayed by African Americans throughout history. It is a day to honor the generations who fought for justice and liberation, and to recognize the enduring legacy of African American culture, contributions and achievements. By acknowledging Juneteenth, we reaffirm our commitment to promoting social justice, equality and inclusivity within our campus community and beyond.


On this Juneteenth holiday, let us embrace the opportunity to engage in meaningful conversations and reflections. We can explore the historical significance of Juneteenth through community celebrations and educational events, such as the upcoming Juneteenth Celebration for kids and families taking place in Bob Hart Square this Saturday, the annual Juneteenth parade, which begins behind the Merced Theatre at 11 a.m. and proceeds through downtown, followed by an event at McNamara Park, and a play later in the month on June 25 at the Merced Theatre about the incredible story of George Washington Turner, an enslaved person who emancipated himself.


May this Juneteenth inspire us to renew our commitment to creating a campus community that celebrates diversity, fosters inclusivity and stands against racism in all its forms. Together, let us honor the past, empower the present and forge a future that exemplifies the ideals of freedom, justice and equality.




Juan Sánchez Muñoz, Ph.D.


Remarks and Addresses