Civic Engagement

Juneteenth becomes an official university holiday

Beginning this year, Oglethorpe will recognize Juneteenth as an official university holiday. Because Juneteenth occurs on a Saturday this year, the university’s observance will take place Friday, June 18.

A combination of the words “June” and “nineteenth,” Juneteenth commemorates the announcement of General Order No. 3 on June 19, 1865. On this day, Union Army Major General Gordon Granger delivered the proclamation to the people of Texas, informing them of the news that all slaves were free. Originating in Galveston, Texas, Juneteenth celebrations now occur across the country. It is the oldest and most popular celebration of emancipation in the U.S.

Juneteenth received renewed attention in light of social protests following the death of George Floyd, but the movement to make Juneteenth a national holiday has been active in the United States since the 1980s. More than a recognition of the past, the holiday amplifies ongoing movements against systemic oppression and the need to collectively commit to social justice and anti-racism.

Oglethorpe University is proud to recognize Juneteenth, and we encourage everyone to celebrate the beauty and resilience of Black culture and history.  The Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, the DEI Task Force, and the OU Programming Board invite the Oglethorpe community to join in recognizing Juneteenth through several upcoming events.

Oglethorpe events in celebration of Juneteenth


Events will include an artist talk featuring Shinobi.Dreams (Kitara Ramsess)

Wednesday, June 16, 10 a.m.
Artist Talk featuring Shinobi.Dreams (Kitara Ramsess) – Oglethorpe student leaders commissioned this Atlanta-based, mixed-media artist to produce a mural on campus. Join us for this virtual event to learn about Kitara’s artistic practice and his original piece that will debut at Oglethorpe later this year.
Learn more about Kitara in this interview with VoyageATL.

Wednesday, June 16, 12 noon
Soul Food Lunch at Conant Performing Arts Center
Join members of the Oglethorpe community for conversation and a delicious meal served on the Conant veranda. Lunch is open all students, faculty and staff. Read more.

Dr. Holly Pinheiro Jr.

Thursday, June 17, 1 p.m.
Historian Dr. Holly Pinheiro Jr.
Dr. Holly Pinheiro, Jr will join us to discuss the importance of Juneteenth and the impact of emancipation on Black families and military servicepeople. Dr. Pinheiro is currently an Assistant Professor at Augusta University in the Department of History, Anthropology, and Philosophy. Read more.

Thursday, June 17 – All day
All-day screening of The Last Man in San Francisco (2019)
The OU Programming Board is providing all-day streaming access to the Last Black Man in San Francisco. This widely-acclaimed film, which debuted at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival, follows the efforts of a young Black man to reclaim his childhood home, a now-expensive Victorian house in a gentrified neighborhood of San Francisco. Visit OU Connect for streaming details.

Friday, June 18
University Holiday
Enjoy the holiday, and be sure to participate in the Atlanta Juneteenth Parade and Music Festival at Centennial Park (June 18-20). To learn more, visit

Be sure to follow the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion on Instagram (@oglethorpe_dei) for resources, and to learn about more DEI events for June!

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