In recognition of Juneteenth, the Chicago Campus Diversity & Inclusion Committee put together information and resources for reflection and celebration. They also announced Adler University’s decision to acknowledge June 19 as an official University holiday in a message to Chicago and Online Campus students, faculty, and staff from the committee’s co-chairs Monica Boyd-Layne, Ph.D. and Lauren Melamed, Ph.D.:
Today is June 19. This date marks the last announcements of absolute freedom of more than 250,000 enslaved people (nearly two years after Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation) in Galveston, Texas on June 19, 1865. Juneteenth continues to emphasize freedom and achievement while celebrating a liberated Black body and identity.
We are pleased to announce that, beginning in 2021, Adler University will recognize Juneteenth as a paid employee holiday. Additionally, classes will no longer be held on June 19.
The committee fervently stands behind the institution’s decision. Making the most dreadful and traumatic legacies of history more visible directly impacts how we integrate these legacies into our cultural consciousness. Our cultural memory requires a reformation that explicitly recognizes the relationships between the history of enslavement, the emergence of White supremacy, and the institutional barriers presently facing Black Americans. By recognizing Juneteenth as a paid holiday and encoding this into institutional policy, Adler University is helping reform a cultural memory: one that places the impetus of remembrance in the present.
As an added means of reflection, the Chicago Diversity & Inclusion committee has created a Juneteenth playlist, Transcendence and Liberation Now! This playlist unfolds in multiple phases: Rebuilding and Liberation, Celebration and Connection, Aspiration and a New World. Created with musical requests from members of our community, the Chicago Diversity & Inclusion committee hopes to provide a healing moment during this traumatic crisis. Our aim is to honor and recognize Black liberation and freedom amidst the painful reminders of the work that still awaits our labor. We invite you to listen, reflect, and become more sensitized to Black visibility, representation, and celebration.
There are a number of events being held in Chicago to celebrate Juneteenth. For students not in Chicago, you are encouraged to find Juneteenth events by exploring your local listings.
Chicago Peace And Equality Juneteenth Rally & Celebration 2020
Where: South Loop Green Space, 2400 S. State St.
When: 6 p.m. Friday
What: Roses4Austin and EqualityShouldBeNormal are hosting a rally and celebration. You can email [email protected] for more information.
Juneteenth Celebration ReBuild Black Wall Street
Where: 35th Street and King Drive
When: 1-7 p.m. Friday
What: There will be a mobile parade with Black-owned business owners, HBCUs and community members.
Our Holiday March
Where: 5531 S. King Drive
When: 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Friday
What: This is the organizers’ first annual Juneteenth Chicago March
Black Culture Week Juneteenth Caravan
When: noon-7:30 p.m. Friday
What: The Juneteenth Caravan will start on the West Side and pass through historic neighborhoods and sites on its way to the South Side’s A. Phillip Randolph Pullman Porter Museum. The caravan ends with a recognition ceremony and spoken word concert.
Where: Grace Memorial Baptist Church, 1457 S. Keeler Ave.
When: 2 p.m. Friday
What: There will be free food, music and giveaways.
DePaul University Students and Service Workers March and Rally
Where: Trebes Park, Northeast corner of Webster and Clifton
When: Friday, June 19; 3 p.m. – 4 p.m.
What: Students and service workers are joining together in the spirit of Juneteenth to commit to supporting each other as family, friends, and co-workers.
What: The event is organized by the Northwest Side Coalition Against Racism and Hate.