Juneteenth is one of the oldest celebrated commemorations of the end of slavery in the United States and recognizes the day in 1865 when Union soldiers arrived in Galveston, Texas and announced that the Civil War had ended, and all enslaved people were free.
President Joe Biden designated Juneteenth as a federal holiday in 2021, but this day is not yet recognized as a state holiday. The University Initiatives team began research and workshopping with stakeholders in February 2022 to determine how the University of Arizona might recognize Juneteenth as a university holiday. In May 2022, the Beyond Juneteenth Committee was created and filled with Black faculty, staff, and students to assist with programming and educational efforts around Juneteenth. President Robbins announced in June 2022 that there would be a year-long educational campaign called "Beyond Juneteenth" that will lead up to the first annual university holiday on June 19, 2023.
The Office of University Initiatives provided administrative support to the Beyond Juneteenth Committee before it transitioned to the Office of Black Advancement and Engagement. For more information, explore the Beyond Juneteenth website, which contains information about past educational & community-building events and highlights Black scholarship at UA.
Juneteenth is first and foremost a celebration of the commemoration of the end of slavery in the United States. In alignment with our values and in accordance with the federal holiday on June 19, President Robbins announced that beginning in 2023, the University will observe Juneteenth as a paid holiday.
The University is limited to 10 paid holidays per year, so to accommodate the addition of Juneteenth as a paid holiday, the day after Thanksgiving will become a paid closure day. To allow the University community time to adjust operations, this change and all other appropriate University policies will be updated to reflect the new holiday and changes for the 2022-2023 academic year.