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Reflecting on Juneteenth

Caster building

Faculty & Research, Student Life



Dear SP2 Community,

In honor of Juneteenth, Penn’s School of Social Policy & Practice will join with the rest of the University to pause from regular work and contemplate the significance of the holiday on June 19th.

As many of you know, Juneteenth originated in 1865 when news of emancipation finally reached Galveston, Texas—more than two months after the Civil War ended, and more than two years after the Emancipation Proclamation was originally issued in the United States. Now in 2020, Pennsylvania joins 46 other states recognizing this date as it marks its first “official” statewide observance of Juneteenth.

While we take the time to recognize the oldest, nationally-celebrated commemoration of the end of slavery, our hope is that our faculty, staff, students, and alumni collectively turn our focus to reflection and community.

We also request that members of the SP2 community refrain from sending work-related emails, conducting meetings, or doing regular work on this day. If you take to social media, we also invite you to use #SP2Juneteenth in your posts if you would like to share how you’re spending the day.

Below is a short list of Juneteenth events to consider for your participation:

Community Lunch and Celebration of Juneteenth hosted by the African American Resource Center and Penn Women’s Center, Friday, June 19, 2020 from 12 to 1pm. Click HERE or copy Zoom link below:


Juneteenth 2020 Virtual Festival: Celebrate the Diaspora is presented by the African American Museum in Philadelphia in close partnership with WURD, African Cultural Alliance of North America (ACANA), Coalition of African and Caribbean Communities- Philadelphia (AFRICOM), Office of Immigrant Affairs- City of Philadelphia, and Pennsylvania Juneteenth Coalition (PAJC). The virtual festival will take place on June 20 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The Fannie Lou Hamer Story – A virtual performance on June 19th at 8 p.m.

Jawnteenth – A community celebration hosted by Black Lives Matter Philly in Malcolm X Park on June 19th from 4 to 7 p.m.

The Juneteenth Music Festival invites all to join, online, for a positive, educational and entertaining day celebrating African American history and the mission to make Juneteenth a national holiday.

We hope you are able to make the most of this significant day with family, friends, and loved ones. It is perhaps more important than ever to carefully acknowledge the history of this holiday and what it means to each of us as we continue to strive for a more equitable future.

Sara S. Bachman, Ph.D.