Dear Members of the NJCU Family,
This Friday, June 16, 2023, our campus, our state, and our nation will observe Juneteenth for the third time since it was designated in 2021 as a federal holiday each year on the third Friday of the month of June. Juneteenth is a vital reminder of the struggles and triumphs that have shaped our country, while concurrently honoring the legacy of those who fought for freedom and justice.
Juneteenth is the oldest nationally celebrated commemoration of the end of slavery in the United States. The observance of Juneteenth acknowledges the anniversary of June 19, 1865, when General Gordon Granger announced General Order No. 3 declaring freedom for enslaved people in Texas — two and a half years after President Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation.
Think about that for a moment. News that today would be shared on social media to millions of people in a matter of seconds took two and a half years to reach people who were denied their freedoms. It’s almost unfathomable in 2023, but it serves as a reminder of why Juneteenth should matter to each of us.
Let us not forget the past. We must always acknowledge the dark chapters of our nation’s history while recommitting to each other and ourselves to continue to work for a just future for everyone. While our university will be closed in observance of this important date, I encourage you to take a moment to pause in reflection and remembrance of what this day represents.
New Jersey City University