The Student Life offices at SJC Brooklyn and SJC Long Island invite students, faculty and staff to celebrate Juneteenth through a virtual event hosted by the National Museum of African American History and Culture all day today, June 19, and tomorrow, June 20.
“Celebrating Juneteenth is a simple but significant way to continue the College’s dedication to diversity and inclusion, as well as its commitment to social responsibility,” said Christian Branch ’11, assistant for campus events and technical services at SJC Brooklyn, as well as the moderator of the Black Student Association.
“As the Student Life office, we have always understood that the education our students get does not stop in the classroom, but continues through the extra- and co-curricular programming that we offer,” Branch added.
The Importance of Juneteenth
An important holiday in the African American community and in the history of the United States overall, June 19 marks the day when, in 1865, soldiers entered Galveston, Texas, and read an announcement — that all enslaved African Americans were free.
The news came roughly two months after the South surrendered in the Civil War, and more than two years after Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation. The following year, in 1886, African Americans in Texas began celebrating the holiday Juneteenth, also known as Freedom Day.
Juneteenth, celebrating its 155th anniversary this year, is now recognized by 47 states and Washington, D.C., as an official state holiday or observance, with many corporate employers announcing this year that they will recognize it as a paid holiday.
Celebrate Alongside St. Joseph’s
Join members of St. Joseph’s College in attending the museum’s virtual event to learn more about African American history and culture through presentations, stories, photographs and recipes.
“Juneteenth marks a significant date in African American history, and thus the Student Life offices across both campuses are proud to do our part in highlighting education and understanding surrounding it,” said Jaime Vacca-Hoefner and Bryan Gill, executive directors of Student Life at SJC Brooklyn and SJC Long Island, respectively.
“We look forward to providing future programming that educates all on racial disparities and social injustice being witnessed in our country at present date,” they added.