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Honoring Juneteenth

Juneteenth — “June” plus “nineteenth” — is a day of celebration to commemorate emancipation and the end of slavery in the United States. As we honor this day and celebrate independence, we also recognize the struggle — historically and in our current moment — to achieve true freedom and justice for all. On this annual holiday for our university and nation, this space is offered to promote historical memory and support personal and community reflection.

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From the Archives

The Georgetown University Library offers a wide variety of primary materials for those interested in learning more about enslavement, emancipation and African American history. This year, a new exhibition showcases Black composers who made impactful contributions to their local communities and the greater world of classical music. Visit the collection on Lauinger Library’s fifth floor through September 30.

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Juneteenth Events

Juneteenth is being celebrated with events at Georgetown and across the Washington, DC, Maryland and Virginia area.

A Testimonial

Bilquisu Abdullah In front of a field of wheat

For me, this year Juneteenth is about nurturing the joy I find in my Black identity. That means doing the things I enjoy most with my BIPOC peers and recentering the conversation of Black liberation in a positive way. The Black women in my life specifically help me to view a feminist future that recognizes the importance of equity and liberation, especially in terms of reproductive rights and health currently. I am sending appreciation cards to the Black women in my life this year for Juneteenth.

Celebrating Black History and Culture

Gravestones with Georgetown neighborhood buildings in the background

Students in the Black Georgetown Rediscovered course toured the Mount Zion – Female Union Band Society cemeteries and helped document the estimated 9,000 Black residents of Georgetown buried at the site.

Khari Brown

Khari Brown, a leader who’s helped hundreds of low-income students graduate and excel in the workforce, is this year’s recipient of Georgetown’s John Thompson Jr. Legacy of a Dream Award.

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Racial Justice and the Arts

Through theater, music, dance and more, members of the Georgetown community have been exploring how to spark change and pursue racial justice through the arts.

Carlos Simon in the studio

Requiem for the Enslaved

Carlos Simon, an assistant professor in the Department of Performing Arts, invites viewers into the development of his latest work, “Requiem for the Enslaved,” which honors the lives of enslaved men, women and children.

Archive image of Old North

The Price of Georgetown

Numerous sites with deep ties to slavery populate Georgetown University’s campus and the surrounding neighborhoods. This walking tour, developed by the Georgetown University Library’s Booth Family Center for Special Collections, allows anyone to tour these historic sites, either on campus or virtually.

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Supporting Descendant Communities Today

Georgetown awarded $200,000 to five inaugural recipients of the Reconciliation Fund. The Reconciliation Fund will issue grants every year to projects that benefit communities of Descendants whose ancestors were enslaved on Jesuit plantations in Maryland and sold and forcibly moved to Louisiana in 1838.

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Georgetown Recognizes Juneteenth With University Holiday

President DeGioia announced the annual Juneteenth university holiday in 2020.

Recorded at the Dedication of Isaac Hawkins Hall and Anne Marie Becraft Hall (April 18, 2017)

Community Reflections

Listen to members of the Georgetown community share their reflections on Juneteenth.

Adanna Johnson
Associate Vice President for Student Equity and Inclusion

Lynn Nehemiah
Descendant, Mahoney Family Line

Rosemary Kilkenny
Vice President for Institutional Diversity and Equity
and Chief Diversity Officer

Whitney Maddox
Adjunct Lecturer