June 19 - Juneteenth

WSU Vancouver recognizes Juneteenth.

Juneteenth originated on June 19, 1865, in Galveston, Texas when union soldiers arrived with news of the Emancipation Proclamation two-and-a-half years after the proclamation was ratified on Jan. 1, 1863.

Since its inaugural celebration in 1866, Juneteenth uplifts Black liberation, education, family, innovation, beauty, community, empowerment, brilliance, joy, self- and collective care to name a few. Juneteenth became a federal holiday on June 17, 2021 and is the first new federal holiday since Martin Luther King Jr. Day, which was signed into law in November 1983 and observed for the first time on Jan. 20, 1986.

As Juneteenth takes on a more national and global perspective, the sheer terror, brutality, injustice and hatred infused in the institution of enslavement of peoples from across the African diaspora must not be minimized or forgotten, including the lasting impact of generational trauma and systemic racism. These roots run deep and tie back to fertile soils from which this national day of recognition is growing.

WSU Vancouver promotes an ethical and socially just society through an intentional commitment to equity, diversity, inclusion and belonging. Getting involved and supporting Juneteenth creates space to build community, engage in reflection, expand awareness and disrupt systemic inequities, including racism, and actualize justice, equity, belonging and love. This is the spirit of Juneteenth.


Campus resources and events in honor of Juneteenth

WSU Vancouver SEEC Association Gathering in the Park for Juneteenth and Joy 
2 – 4 p.m. June 16 
Location TBA 
RSVP for SEEC Association Gathering in the Park for Juneteenth and Joy online

Juneteenth Freedom Celebration
1 – 7 p.m. June 17 
Esther Short Park, Vancouver, WA. 
WSU Vancouver will have a booth at this event. What does Juneteenth mean to you? Submit your affirmations, reflections and creations to the WSU Vancouver Gallery of Affirmations.

Know your mindset toward cultural differences, take BaCE workshops and apply these tools to impact university processes, practices, policies and people.

Use resources from the Equity and Justice Resources page.


Additional community resources and events

Juneteenth Virtual Celebration with Washington State Commission on African American Affairs
Noon – 1 p.m. June 1 
Register in advance

Go to a state park for free. On Juneteenth, you can explore Washington state parks and recreation lands for free.

Reflect on Juneteenth with poems from Poets.org.