President Robert L. Manuel > Notes from Rob > 2022-23 > DePaul celebrates Juneteenth

DePaul celebrates Juneteenth

For the first time in DePaul’s history, Juneteenth will be celebrated as an official university holiday this year. In recognition of Juneteenth, the nation’s oldest celebration of the end of slavery, DePaul University will be closed this Monday, June 19.

Juneteenth dates to June 19, 1865, when 250,000 slaves in Texas were freed by order of U.S. Army troops newly landed at Galveston. African Americans in Texas celebrated “Emancipation Day” for the first time one year later on June 19, 1866, creating a new annual tradition. Official commemorations did not become common in Texas until the 1980s and gradually expanded to other parts of the U.S. On June 17, 2021, the U.S. government made Juneteenth the 12th federal holiday.

The significance of the holiday lies in the fact that, two years after the passing of the Emancipation Proclamation and two months after the Civil War ended, slavery was still in practice in the United States. 

This Juneteenth, I ask our community to reflect on the significance of this holiday and the work we will do to ensure we continue along a path forward to make DePaul unified and equitable for all. As a Catholic, Vincentian university, we must continue to stand strong against racism and oppressi​on.