Letters to the UMB Community

UMB Celebrates Juneteenth

June 07, 2023

To the UMB Community:

This month marks the third year that the University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB) will be celebrating and honoring Juneteenth as an observed holiday.

Juneteenth commemorates the announcement of the abolition of slavery in Texas on June 19, 1865, more than two years after the Emancipation Proclamation was signed. Also known as Freedom Day or Black Independence Day, Juneteenth marks the official end of slavery in the United States and is observed annually on June 19, hence the name Juneteenth.

This holiday is important in American history because it highlights and represents the struggle for freedom and recognition for African Americans who were not truly emancipated or integrated into the American dream of freedom. Its observance is a reminder of the importance of the ongoing struggles toward a truly free and democratic society and the urgency of promoting and protecting human rights and justice in the present and for the future.

At UMB, we value equity, justice, respect, and integrity and continue to strive to live out these core values to foster greater inclusion and equity.

To learn more about Juneteenth, click here, and to find UMB’s anti-racism resources, click here. We also invite you to join us at the following Juneteenth events this month:

Carole Boston Weatherford’s Juneteenth Celebration
June 10 | Noon | The Ivy Bookshop
Join Weatherford for a family-friendly celebration inspired by her books “Juneteenth Jamboree” and “Standing in the Need of Prayer.”

School of Social Work’s Juneteenth Jubilee 
June 14-19 | Virtual and In-Person
The celebration includes two events — “Academia: Working While Black” virtual panel discussion on June 14, and Juneteenth Community Day at the UMB Community Engagement Center on June 15 — as well as #RestandRecharge, a social media campaign urging people to post what they do to recharge their battery.

Juneteenth: Honoring Food, Traditions, and Histories
June 15 | 6 to 7 p.m. | The Walters Art Museum
Local chefs and restaurateurs David and Tonya Thomas team up to discuss the culinary history of African American cuisine and food traditions associated with Juneteenth.

Jazz on the Rails Juneteenth Celebration
June 17 | 4 to 10 p.m. | B&O Railroad Museum
This inaugural event, sponsored by the SPV Foundation, will feature live contemporary jazz performances and exhibits of the Underground Railroad and the journey for the Freedom Seekers.

AFRAM Juneteenth 2023
June 17-18 | Noon to 9 p.m. | Druid Hill Park
This year’s event celebrates the anniversary of Baltimore club music and features a tribute to 50 years of hip-hop. Performers include the Isley Brothers, Ty Dolla $ign, Kid Capri, Spinderella, and Tamar Braxton. Let us continue to foster a more just and inclusive UMB community and society at large.

In partnership and collaboration,

Diane Forbes Berthoud, PhD, MA
Chief Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Officer and Vice President, UMB
Professor, Graduate School

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