June 14, 2021
Dear Students, Faculty, and Staff,
In observation of Juneteenth this Saturday, June 19, Loyola University Chicago will be closed on Friday, June 18.
Juneteenth is the annual celebration commemorating the end of the enslavement of African Americans in the United States.
Though President Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863, slavery continued in Texas, and people held as slaves there were not aware of their freedom until June 19, 1865, when soldiers arrived in Galveston and told them they were free. The newly freed African Americans named the day “Juneteenth,” and it marks our country’s second independence day.
Our progress toward liberty and justice still continues 156 years later. While racism and oppression are ingrained in our past, it does not have to be part of our future. The world needs to change, and we are committed to fueling that change here on campus and in ways we hope ripple across the world. That change should derive from God’s relationship with all of us: that we love and care for each other as one. That is the lesson African Americans have been trying to teach this country for generations, particularly when they had nothing to hold on to but faith.
We hope you use the day to learn more about Juneteenth and Black history, and reflect upon the work that is still required by all of us to ensure our society is truly free and just.
We encourage you to review this educational literature guide compiled by University Libraries to learn more about this important commemoration.
Winifred Williams, PhD
Vice President, Chief Human Resources Officer
Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer