Last year, Colorado Gov. Jared Polis signed a bill into law establishing Juneteenth as an official state holiday. Traditionally celebrated on June 19, Juneteenth marks the date in 1865 when the Union Army arrived in Texas––the last state in the Confederacy with institutional slavery––to proclaim freedom for enslaved Black and African Americans more than two years after President Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation.
Beginning next year, CU Boulder will observe Juneteenth as a fixed holiday rather than a floating holiday, and along with other public colleges, schools and offices, our campus will close in accordance with state guidelines.
This year, the campus will remain open on June 19 to align with the 2023 academic calendar, which was set well before the governor’s Juneteenth announcement last year. While CU Boulder will be open for classes and other university business, we encourage students, staff and faculty to reflect on the history and significance of the day and to avoid scheduling other major events on Juneteenth.
As previously communicated, Juneteenth will remain a floating holiday for CU Boulder employees this year, and as a reminder, employees who have not already done so are encouraged to use the floating holiday before June 30, 2023.
Plans for observing Juneteenth this year and in the future are underway, and students, staff and faculty will receive additional information in May about campus resources and Juneteenth commemorations on campus and in the broader Boulder community. Please watch for updates in CU Boulder Today and via the campus’s other communication channels.
Juneteenth provides us with an opportunity to reflect on the self-determination, enduring resilience and contributions of Black and African American communities in Colorado and across the country. We encourage CU Boulder students and employees to celebrate in community, to set aside time to dialogue with others about the history of Juneteenth and to participate in related events.
Sonia DeLuca Fernández, Senior Vice Chancellor for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion