President Drake institutes Juneteenth as UC’s newest holiday
President Michael V. Drake, M.D., sent the following message to the UC community on June 18, 2021.
Yesterday President Biden declared a federal holiday for Juneteenth, the day that celebrates and commemorates the end of slavery in the United States. This is a historic moment for our nation — 156 years in the making.
Celebrated on the 19th of June, Juneteenth, also known as Jubilee Day, Liberation Day and Freedom Day, marks the day in 1865 that enslaved people in Texas learned they were free. This news was delivered two and a half years after President Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation became law.
I intend to immediately add this to the University of California’s calendar of holidays. This year we will observe this holiday on Monday, June 28. Starting in 2022, we will celebrate the Juneteenth holiday according to the federal calendar.
As we approach June 19, I invite you to join me in reflecting on our nation’s history, the horrors of centuries of bondage, and the difficult road from liberation to equality. Let us resolve to build a future representing and lifted up by our ideals, our values, and our best selves.
Michael V. Drake, M.D.