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Join our Community in Celebrating Juneteenth


June 14, 2021

On Friday, June 18th, Drexel University will formally observe Juneteenth (officially June 19th), a holiday long celebrated in the African American community as a commemoration of the day, 155 years ago, on which enslaved African Americans in Texas learned of their freedom from an institutionalized system of chattel slavery.

As an institution, Drexel remains committed to the continuous support of Black people against systematic racism and social injustice. It is vital that our entire community recognize the importance of celebrating Juneteenth – also known as Freedom Day, Jubilee Day, Liberation Day, and Emancipation Day. As a Drexel community, we seek to honor this day and celebrate independence. We also recognize the struggle – historically and in our current moment – to achieve true freedom and justice for all.

We encourage you to learn more about and, if interested, participate in community-based Juneteenth celebrations:

Interesting facts about Juneteenth:

  • Juneteenth, which is a portmanteau of the words June and nineteenth, is officially recognized in 46 states and the District of Columbia. 

  • In 1980, Texas became the first state to make Juneteenth an official state holiday.  

  • On June 19th, 2019, Governor Wolf signed legislation which designates June 19th as “Juneteenth National Freedom Day”. 

  • A few of the other countries around the world that have celebrated Juneteenth include France, Ghana, Israel, South Korea, Taiwan and the U.S. territory of Guam. 

  • African Americans from Texas helped spread the holiday around the world as they moved outside of the state. 

  • A resolution that recognizes Juneteenth as a national holiday was passed by the U.S. Senate in 2018, but it has not yet been approved by the House of Representatives. 

  • To learn more, read What is Juneteenth? at 

Warm Regards,

Alonzo M. Flowers III, PhD 
Associate Professor 
Faculty Co-Chair of the Graduate College Diversity Advisory Council 
Diversity Liaison for the Graduate College and Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences & Professional Studies in the College of Medicine

Matthew Shirley 
Student Co-Chair of the Graduate College Diversity Advisory Council 
President of the Drexel Black Graduate Student Union 
NSF Graduate Research Fellowships Program 
PhD Candidate in Biomedical Engineering 
School of Biomedical Engineering, Science and Health Systems