Holiday Observance of Juneteenth
Starting this year, Columbia College Chicago will observe Juneteenth —also known as Emancipation Day and Freedom Day—as an official college holiday. Juneteenth commemorates the effective end of slavery in the United States on June 19, 1865.
On that date, more than two years after the Emancipation Proclamation and two months after the end of the Civil War, Union Major General Gordon Granger and his troops arrived in Galveston Texas, where some Black people were still enslaved. Granger issued a proclamation to the people of Texas re-affirming that based on President Lincoln’s order, all enslaved people were free.
As an extension of our commitment to the College’s DEI efforts which include the Antiracism Transformation Team and the Social Justice Initiative and as a reflection on our collective commitment to achieve permanent and lasting social change, Columbia will honor Juneteenth in recognition of the struggles and triumphs of the African American community.
There are currently forty-seven states, and the District of Columbia, that recognize Juneteenth as either an official or ceremonial holiday. A bill to recognize Juneteenth as an Illinois holiday has been introduced in the Illinois General Assembly.
Given that June 19 falls on a Saturday this year, the College will observe the Juneteenth holiday on Friday, June 18, 2021, and the campus will be closed.