Diversity Spotlight: Juneteenth 2022

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June 19, is celebrated as “Juneteenth,” in honor of one of the final acts of emancipation of slaves in the United States. On June 19, 1865, the announcement was made that tens of thousands of African-Americans in Texas had been emancipated. Juneteenth traces its origins back to Galveston, Texas where on June 19, 1865, Union soldiers, led by Major Gen. Gordon Granger landed in the city with news that the Civil War had ended and slaves were now free. The announcement came two-and-a-half years after President Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation of January 1, headshot of Dr. Joyce Goins-Fernandez1863 that had ended slavery in the U.S. However, since that proclamation was made during the Civil War, it was ignored by Confederate states and it wasn’t until the end of the war that the Executive Order was enforced in the South. This day is also known as African American Freedom Day or Emancipation Day.

Last year, President Joe Biden, signed a law making Juneteenth Day a Federal holiday. While this is good news, let us not forget the issues that still plague African Americans (e.g., voter suppression, health care disparities, over policing of Black communities). I hope that we can continue to work on solutions to solving these inequities.

Watch the following video to learn more about Juneteenth:


Also read: https://www.nytimes.com/article/juneteenth-day-celebration.html

A Movie to watch for Juneteenth:

Ms. Juneteenth

View trailer here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cC7ecoUdLqs


To learn about local Juneteenth events, go here:



Cedar Rapids

2022 Juneteenth Community Concert

The Cedar Rapids Opera celebrates its 2nd annual free Juneteenth Concert.

Time: 2 p.m.

Date: Sunday, June 19

Place: NewBo City Market, 1100 3rd St SE, Cedar Rapids.


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