Juneteenth - A message from Secretary Goff-Crews

June 13, 2022

 Dear members of the Yale community,

Hope, inspiration, and reflection on justice and freedom are hallmarks of Juneteenth, held on June 19, and marked by a university holiday for the first time this year on Monday, June 20.

On June 19, 1865, enslaved Americans in Galveston, Texas, were among the last to learn of the end of slavery in the United States, almost two and a half years after the Emancipation Proclamation.  Black Americans have long commemorated and celebrated the date with readings, music, and family and community gatherings.  Now a federal and university holiday, Juneteenth is an important opportunity to celebrate the struggle for equality and the joys of community, and also to remember the horrors of slavery.  On this “second Independence Day,” we can commit ourselves anew to liberty and justice for all.

You can learn more about the history of Juneteenth and explore related events and media at Belonging at Yale – Recognizing Juneteenth.  Among the events is the Yale African American Affinity Group’s June 14 book club discussion of On Juneteenth, featuring author Annette Gordon-Reed (register here), and several free events on the New Haven Green presented by the International Festival of Arts & Ideas.

I invite you to share in the refection and festivities, and wish each of you an enjoyable and productive summer.


Kimberly M. Goff-Crews
University Secretary
Vice President for University Life