Juneteenth — A Special Celebration

A Special Message from Sandy Shugart, Valencia College President and Danielle McKinnon, Academic Division Coordinator and Valencia African Heritage Committee Chair

Today marks a special celebration in the life of our country and our college. Juneteenth, a term that combines the month of June and the Nineteenth day of the month, is widely celebrated as an important moment in the history of the emancipation proclamation, whereby four million African-Americans were freed from the abomination of slavery. Although the Emancipation Proclamation had been signed two years earlier, it was on this day in 1865 in Galveston, Texas, that U.S. General Gordon Granger publicly read orders for the immediate liberation of all enslaved people in the state and the active enforcement of liberation began in the remotest of formerly slave states. Annual celebrations began exactly a year later and continue to be recognized worldwide. You can learn more about the significance of Juneteenth in this Juneteenth LibGuide, created by our Valencia librarians.

We proudly celebrate the end of slavery and the long and difficult struggle for real equality before the law and in every aspect of life. We also celebrate and recognize the champions of freedom in this struggle, the work we have left to do, and the many contributions of Black Americans to the life we all share.

At Valencia, we are fortunate to have a leader in this celebration and recognition, the Valencia African Heritage Committee (VAHC). The VAHC works to foster inclusion of cultural and educational awareness of the African-diaspora at Valencia College, and seeks to build inclusivity of the social and political interests and concerns of faculty, staff and students of the African-diaspora collegewide and in the community. The VAHC has partnered with and sponsored many departments and student clubs for meaningful events and co-curricular opportunities throughout the College.

Tonight, we invite you to join our Juneteenth and Black Music Month celebration via ZOOM. Enjoy the live entertainment and rich history through a collection of performances, guest speakers and tributes by your Valencia colleagues. You can find the event line up and login information here.

We hope to connect with you tonight and at future events.

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