U-M honors Black liberation and excellence with Juneteenth Symposium Celebration

June 15, 2022  //  FOUND IN: Updates & Resources,

U-M and Michigan Medicine are celebrating, educating and inspiring the lives and contributions of Black, African and Indigenous people of color in America with the Juneteenth Symposium Celebration.

Juneteenth is celebrated annually on June 19, and commemorates the end of slavery in America and the freedom of enslaved Africans. The date represents the arrival of Union soldiers in Galveston, Texas in 1865 with news of the end of the Civil War and freedom for all who had been in bondage. Last year, June 17, 2021, President Joe Biden signed a bill establishing Juneteenth as a federal holiday.

Juneteenth celebrates Black excellence — but also recognizes the complex realities of Black life in America and the results of decades of systemic racism. 

This year’s Juneteenth Symposium Celebration — which begins today and runs through Saturday, June 18 — is themed “Celebrate, Educate, Inspire.” The symposium’s events explore social and racial complexities, health equity, critical race theory and community engagement.

The first event, a keynote address entitled, “Juneteenth: The Journey toward a National Fight for Unity” by Opal Lee and William V. Hampton, took place this morning. Additional events will be held today and each of the next three days.

The symposium wraps up with the U-M Community Health Fair at New Hope Baptist Church, located at 218 Chapin St. in Ann Arbor. The fair will provide the community with free health screenings that include blood pressure screenings, A1C screenings, cholesterol screenings and vaccinations.

The Juneteenth Symposium Celebration events will be held both virtually and in-person. Space is limited for in-person events, please register here to confirm in-person attendance.

For more information on the U-M Juneteenth Symposium Celebration and for a full list of events, click here.

For more about Juneteenth, check out this previous feature story from Headlines and this historical breakdown.