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Thursday December 8th

University will now permanently incorporate Juneteenth into academic calendar

<p>The volunteer booth for the 2021 NAACP Youth Council Juneteenth Celebration is decorated in colorful Juneteenth signs.</p>
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The volunteer booth for the 2021 NAACP Youth Council Juneteenth Celebration is decorated in colorful Juneteenth signs.

Provost Christopher Clemens and Chief Diversity Officer Leah Cox sent a campus-wide email on Tuesday explaining how the University will recognize Juneteenth this year and moving forward.

In recognition of the holiday this year, the University asked instructors of Summer Session ll classes to be flexible with absences related to this holiday.

June 19 falls on a Sunday this year, but the public celebration will take place on Monday.

"Going forward, the University will permanently incorporate the celebration of Juneteenth into the academic calendar to avoid this overlap," the email said. 

According to the email, Juneteenth is short for "June Nineteenth," which is the day in 1865 when federal troops informed enslaved Black people they were freed after the end of the Civil War in Texas.

"On this Juneteenth, we encourage you to take a thoughtful pause to reflect on our history and honor the contributions of the many enslaved Black people who built our institution," the email said. "We can also enjoy a celebratory moment in the present to reflect on how our Black students, faculty, staff and alumni continue creating, fostering and advancing the Carolina we’re proud to be a part of."

Juneteenth was formally recognized as a federal holiday last year. On June 6, Gov. Roy Cooper signed an executive order giving state employees a day of leave for a day of cultural, religious or personal significance.

President of the UNC System, Peter Hans, authorized UNC system institutions to apply this paid leave to their staff and faculty.

"While the University's academic calendars for this year had been set before these most recent changes, we support the celebration of Juneteenth and recognize that our students, staff and faculty may wish to celebrate the public holiday with their families or friends," the email said.

The University asked UNC community members to consider joining the Chapel Hill-Carrboro Community Juneteenth celebration, which will be held Sunday from 2 to 6 p.m.


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