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Dear Campus Community:

With President Biden’s signature, our nation now officially recognizes Juneteenth, which commemorates the end of slavery in America, as a federal holiday. For this year, NKU will be closed on Monday, June 21 in honor of this holiday. Given the short notice, classes on Monday will be held at the discretion of each faculty member. Staff who are unable to take the day off should connect with their supervisor to arrange to take another day off. Going forward, we will integrate the Juneteenth holiday into the academic calendar.

Juneteenth commemorates the day in 1865 when news of the Emancipation Proclamation reached the people of Galveston, Texas, freeing slaves in the last Confederate state. President Abraham Lincoln had signed the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863, but the proclamation was not enforced in Galveston until federal soldiers read it out on June 19, 1865.

While it is now a national holiday, African Americans have celebrated this day for more than a century and refer to it as Freedom Day, Jubilee Day, Liberation Day and Emancipation Day. NKU is proud to celebrate this day. It is an acknowledgement of the brave human beings who suffered greatly and endured the horrors of chattel slavery.

This Saturday marks the 156th anniversary of Juneteenth. I encourage our campus to reflect on our nation’s history and what we can all do to create a more equitable, inclusive and just society for all individuals. We have important work preparing the next generation of leaders who will create the communities of our future.

Thank you for everything you do for our students and enjoy the holiday.

Ashish Vaidya