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Observing Juneteenth

June 17, 2022
Re: Observing Juneteeth
To: All campus
June 16, 2022
 
Dear UC Merced community,
 
On Monday, June 20, the University of California, Merced will formally observe Juneteenth, a day of significance for everyone concerned with the dignity of humankind.
 
Juneteenth was first celebrated in 1866. Despite the Emancipation Proclamation and ratification of three constitutional amendments affirming the citizenship and equality of formerly enslaved people, many in power refused to inform African-Americans that they were free until the Union Army made public declarations — including one on June 19, 1865 in Galveston, Texas, that became the basis for our annual observance.
 
Locally this year, the Merced chapter of the NAACP, the Black Parallel School Board and others will host a Juneteenth parade and festival Saturday . Other celebrations will happen all day Friday at Gilbert Macias Park and all day Sunday at Joe Herb Park. I encourage everyone to join our Merced neighbors in celebrating this historic day.
 
I also ask you to consider how we can build on our efforts at UC Merced, such as:
 
The university’s strategic plan calls on us to cultivate a culture of dignity and respect for all. Juneteenth helps us to focus our attention on what has been gained, and how much remains to be done, in our long-shared march toward justice.
 
 
Sincerely,
 
Juan Sánchez Muñoz, Ph.D.
Chancellor
Advancing Equity, Justice and Inclusive Excellence
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