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Dear members of the Tufts community,

On behalf of the President and Provost ad interim, it is my pleasure to invite you to Tufts University’s fourth annual Juneteenth Observance Ceremony on Wednesday, June 21, from 12:00-1:30 p.m. in Breed Memorial Hall. There will also be an option to join the ceremony virtually via our livestream. I look forward to sharing more details about our programming in the coming weeks. 

Although Juneteenth was only first recognized as a federal holiday in 2021, it has been celebrated annually by the African American community since the late 1800s. Also known as Freedom Day, Jubilee Day, Liberation Day, and Emancipation Day, Juneteenth commemorates June 19, 1865, the day when Union Army General Gordon Granger proclaimed African Americans’ freedom in the state of Texas, officially ending slavery in the U.S. two and a half years after the Emancipation Proclamation.

I encourage you to learn more about the rich history of Juneteenth and to kindly RSVP by June 14, to help us plan accordingly for the ceremony. As you are aware, this is an important program for Tufts and an opportunity for institutions across the country to celebrate and uplift contributions of the African American community, both past and present.

In addition to the ceremony on June 21, Tufts will be closed on Monday, June 19 to observe the holiday. Since first observing the holiday in June 2020, Tufts has committed to furthering antiracism and racial justice, and as a part of this, continues to recognize Juneteenth with an annual ceremony for remembrance and reflection as a community. As a new member of Tufts, it has been a privilege to learn about how the university community has been shepherding our racial justice work, and I look forward to strengthening this work together. 

I look forward to honoring this holiday with you at the Tufts Juneteenth Observance Ceremony. 

In community,

Monroe France
Vice Provost for Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Justice (DEIJ)
Professor of Practice, Tisch College