Chief People and Culture Officer Eugene Whitlock sent the following message to the campus community today:
I have the pleasure of sharing with you the wonderful news that earlier this morning UC President Michael Drake announced that Juneteenth is now an official UC holiday, to be observed this year on Monday, June 28:
“Yesterday President Biden declared a federal holiday for Juneteenth, the day that celebrates and commemorates the end of slavery in the United States. This is an historic moment for our nation — 156 years in the making.
Celebrated on the 19th of June, Juneteenth, also known as Jubilee Day, Liberation Day and Freedom Day, marks the day in 1865 that enslaved people in Texas learned they were free. This news was delivered two and a half years after President Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation became law.
I intend to immediately add this to the University of California’s calendar of holidays. This year we will observe this holiday on Monday, June 28. Starting in 2022, we will celebrate the Juneteenth holiday according to the federal calendar.
As we approach June 19, I invite you to join me in reflecting on our nation’s history, the horrors of centuries of bondage, and the difficult road from liberation to equality. Let us resolve to build a future representing and lifted up by our ideals, our values, and our best selves.
Michael V. Drake, M.D., President”
As we wrote yesterday, the official recognition of Juneteenth is a great step forward for our country and now UC has taken that same important step.