Published: June 1, 2023

TO: Chancellor Phil DiStefano, Executive Vice Chancellor Patrick O’Rourke, Provost Russell Moore
FROM: Boulder Campus Staff Council University of Colorado Boulder Staff Council
SUBJECT: Statement of Support for No Official University Events on June 19th
DATE: May 30, 2023

Staff Council represents, informs, and educates staff employees by serving as a liaison between staff and the Boulder campus, University system, and State administration. Through advocacy, policy review, advisement, and facilitation of staff engagement opportunities, we strive to make the staff experience engaging and meaningful. We are committed to promoting diversity, inclusion, cultural competency, and respect in conducting organizational business and initiatives.

As such, we, as the University of Colorado Boulder Staff Council, support the recommendation that no official university events be held on Monday, June 19, 2023, in recognition of the Juneteenth holiday.

Juneteenth, which combines the words “June” and “nineteenth,” is also known as Freedom Day or Emancipation Day. Three years after President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation, enslaved Black and African Americans in Texas remained deprived of their freedom. On June 19, 1865, Union Army troops marched to Galveston, Texas, to enforce the Emancipation Proclamation and proclaim freedom for the last enslaved Black and African Americans. The newly freed celebrated their emancipation on June 19. In 2021, Juneteenth was established as a federal holiday with the hope that all Americans learn from our history and engage in self-reflection and anti-racist work.

Staff Council acknowledges that structural racism exists today and is embedded in US, Colorado, Boulder, and CU Boulder history, policies, and systems. We acknowledge that Black History is currently under threat in the United States and that the need to celebrate and observe Juneteenth is not only to remember the past but also to reckon with the harms being perpetrated in our current times. Staff Council is committed to being an anti-racist organization, dismantling white supremacy, and acknowledging the harms caused by our campus and council policies, processes, and systems. We acknowledge that folks of color, particularly Black and African American folks, are very often asked to perform the additional labor of explaining, teaching about, organizing, and facilitating Juneteenth programming, which limits their ability to actually celebrate the day. With this statement of support, we hope to mitigate this additional labor.

For 2023, CU Boulder has designated Juneteenth as a floating holiday, and it is, therefore, still considered a regular workday. We acknowledge that many staff will still need to work on this holiday, either in an on-call or regular capacity. We encourage supervisors to work together with their direct reports to identify individual and team needs while allowing their reports the flexibility to celebrate and observe the holiday. When possible, we encourage staff to minimize meetings with others on June 19, acknowledging the need for providing flexibility. We support giving CU Boulder staff the time and space to celebrate or observe the holiday in whatever way they choose, be that on the day of June 19 or another day when the staff member takes their floating holiday.

Staff Council will honor this statement by increasing awareness of Juneteenth, by not conducting any official Staff Council meetings or programming, such as staff volunteer events, on Monday, June 19, 2023, and by sharing resources for all staff on the Staff Council website.

We invite all staff to educate themselves on this culturally and historically significant holiday, and we encourage participation in campus and community events on Friday, June 16, 2023.

For questions or more information, we recommend reviewing these campus resources:


Jasimine Evans Signature                      Karrie Pitzer Signature              Mike Williamson Signature

Jasimine Evans, Co-Chair                  Karrie Pitzer, Co-Chair                  Michael Williamson, Co-Chair

Endorsed May 30, 2023, Boulder Campus Staff Council

Sources used for this statement: