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Student Life

Juneteenth

On June 19, 1865, the Emancipation Proclamation was put into effect when enslaved African-Americans in Galveston, Texas, were told that the Civil War had ended, and that they were free. 

More than one hundred and fifty years later, June 19 – "Juneteenth" – is observed across the country as a joyful holiday that celebrates freedom.

message from the president     events     resources

a message from the president

Headshot of Christina RoyalOn June 19, 1865, the Emancipation Proclamation was put into effect when enslaved African-Americans in Galveston, Texas, were told that the Civil War had ended, and that they were free. 

More than one hundred and fifty years later, June 19 – "Juneteenth" – is observed across the country as a joyful holiday that celebrates freedom. 

The Emancipation Proclamation did not erase the centuries of violence and subjugation upon which our country was built. Nor did it bridle the cultivation and insidious growth of systemic racism at every level of our nation's policies, which to this day prevent the United States from being a place of true freedom for all. There is, doubtless, work still to be done. 

Today, Juneteenth is reserved as a day to celebrate and honor Black freedom, Black excellence, and Black joy. Across the country, parades will be held on city streets, picnics will take place in family backyards, and descendants of those who were told they were free on June 19, 1865 will make the pilgrimage to Galveston to honor their ancestors. 

If you're looking for a way to celebrate Juneteenth this weekend, please explore joining us in the following:

It is crucial that while doing the ongoing work of naming and dismantling systemic racism, we allow ourselves pauses to rest, to practice self care, and to celebrate. For those who may want to learn more about Juneteenth, find resources below.

Christina Royal
President, Holyoke Community College

events

Juneteenth Virtual Celebration: Lift Every Voice & Sing
June 15
12 noon – 2 p.m.
Virtual
Click here to join

Film inspired by the deep-rooted anthem "Lift Every Voice & Sing." Presented by the California African-American Museum.

The Boston Globe's Juneteenth Film Festival
June 15 – 21
Virtual
Learn more

Amidst our country's reckoning with racism and inequality, The Boston Globe will celebrate Juneteenth by shining a light on films and filmmakers telling stories of Black imagination, strength, and liberation. Join us June 15-21 for free screenings and discussions featuring the films Black PantherBlue Hill AvenueCity On Our Back, and Harriet.

Panel: Juneteenth Celebration
June 18
9:30 – 11:30 a.m.
Virtual
Register

Join the Bay Path University community for a virtual art gallery and a moderated panel discussion on the history of Juneteenth. Panelists include Dr. Amilcar Shabazz, Professor of History & Africana Studies in the W.E.B. DuBois Department of Afro-American Studies at the University of Massachusetts Amherst; Dr. Gwen Jordan, JD, Associate Professor and Chair of the Undergraduate Justice & Legal Studies Department at Bay Path University, and previous staff attorney with the Illinois Innocence Project; and Janell Smith, rising Bay Path junior, president of the Bay Path Black Student Union, and Western Massachusetts community volunteer and social justice activist.

Juneteenth Jubilee Flag Raising
June 18
10 a.m. – 11:15 a.m.
City Hall Plaza, Springfield
Learn more

The first annual flag-raising in Springfield, Mass., to celebrate the emancipation of the official last Black enslaved people in Galveston, Texas in 1865.

Juneteenth Jubilee Vendor Fair
June 18
6 – 8 p.m.
Blunt Park Rd., Springfield
Learn more

Come out and support local vendors as they grow their businesses. Enjoy great music as you shop!

Juneteenth Jubilee Movie Night
June 18
8:30 – 10:30 p.m.
Blunt Park Rd., Springfield
Learn more

Join us as we enjoy a cultural-based movie with the community. Popcorn, strawberry soda, and water will be provided.

Juneteenth Independence Day Celebration w/ Mount Wachusett
June 19
10:30 a.m.
Virtual
Register

Join educators and community members around the Commonwealth as we celebrate Massachusetts's first Juneteenth Independence Day holiday. Hosted by the Mount Wachusett Community College Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Team and Three Pyramids, Inc. Special guest: 2021 Massachusetts Teacher of the Year Jennifer Hedrington. Keynote speaker: Sunn M'Cheaux.

The Significance of Juneteenth in History & the Present
June 19
11 a.m.
Virtual
Register

Storrowton Village Museum recognizes the historic impact of this holiday by featuring scholars in our Juneteenth Speaker Series.

Juneteenth Celebration
June 19
12 noon
Raymond A. Jordan Senior Center, 1476 Roosevelt Ave., Springfield
Learn more

A free event with entertainment, food, COVID-19 vaccines, the history of Juneteenth, award presentations, vendors, and more!

Panel Discussion: Land Ownership, Generational Wealth, & Inequality
June 19
1 p.m.
Virtual
Register

Storrowton Village Museum recognizes the historic impact of this holiday by featuring scholars in our Juneteenth Speaker Series.

Juneteenth Virtual Celebration hosted by Step Afrika!
June 19
8 p.m.
Virtual
Register

Honors and embodies the true spirit of this historic moment with newly filmed choreographic masterpieces inspired by the African American experience.

resources