Letters to the UMB Community

UMB’s Juneteenth Celebrations

June 13, 2022

To the UMB Community,

This month marks the second 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.

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 anti-racism resources, click here. We also invite you to join us at the following UMB events this month:

Rest as a Liberatory Practice
June 14 | Noon-1:30 p.m. | Virtual Event

Today, the word “self-care” is seen everywhere, but did you know it was originally described as a form of political resistance? Join us as we discuss the history of self-care, how and why we practice it, and its importance to a larger liberation struggle for Black people across the diaspora. This event will be fishbowl style, intended to promote dialogue with attendees. Our panelists/conversation starters will begin the dialogue, and attendees will be invited to take part in the conversation and share their perspectives.

‘From Here to Equality: Reparations for Black Americans in the Twenty-First Century’
June 15 | Noon-1 p.m. | Virtual Event

Please join us as featured speakers William Darity Jr., PhD, and Kirsten Mullen discuss their award-winning book “From Here to Equality: Reparations for Black Americans in the Twenty-First Century.” In their book, Darity and Mullen explore the effects of racism and discrimination from the end of the Civil War to the present day to measure economic inequalities rooted in enslavement. Through their analysis, they lay out a detailed action plan for an effective reparations policy for descendants of U.S. enslavement.

A Celebration of Liberation and Resilience: A Juneteenth Event Featuring Storyteller Renee Emanuel
June 15 | Noon-1 p.m. | School of Nursing Room 245

Renee Emanuel is a gifted storyteller whose folktales, tall tales, and conscience-stirring narratives have captivated audiences for over a decade. Emanuel’s warm, personable style engages her audience and sets the stage for a mutually enjoyable exchange between teller and listener. A native Baltimorean, Emanuel has performed locally and in other states at libraries, conferences, and workshops, as well as on public television. She is a member of the Antietam Storytellers Guild of Hagerstown, Md., and the Griots’ Circle of Maryland, and has been featured at Stories in the Round in Hagerstown and Tellabration, an autumn storytelling event celebrated worldwide. Emanuel also has co-authored a children’s book and is known by some for her engrossing portrayal of Harriet Tubman in a one-woman stage production she wrote.

Juneteenth Community Day
June 16 | 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. | Parking lot on the corner of West Baltimore and Poppleton streets (873 W. Baltimore St.)

This event is a celebration of everything BLACK! Celebrate the ending of chattel slavery in the United States through music, food, and giveaways (while supplies last). Wear a Juneteenth T-shirt and join the celebration, which is hosted by the UMB Community Engagement Center.

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

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