Celebrate and reflect on the importance of Juneteenth

June 17, 2021

Dear OSU Community Members,

Please join me tomorrow in recognizing and celebrating Juneteenth, which has traditionally been called Freedom Day by many African Americans. On June 19, 1865, more than two years after the Emancipation Proclamation was issued, the city of Galveston, Texas finally told African American slaves they were free.

Commemorating this day in our history is important as we collectively work to end anti-Black racism and racism in all forms.

Today, President Biden signed a bill making Juneteenth a federal holiday, and Governor Brown recently signed the holiday into Oregon state law. This year, we will observe tomorrow, June 18th, as the university’s Juneteenth holiday.

As the late Coretta Scott King said, “Struggle is a never-ending process.  Freedom is never really won, you earn it and win it in every generation.”

Please take time tomorrow to think and learn about the legacy of slavery and racism within our society and what each of us can do to build a university and community truly free of racial hierarchy and inequity.


Becky Johnson
Interim President