A time to reflect and commit to doing better
Next week marks the first recognition of Juneteenth as an official state and
The holiday commemorates June 19, 1865, the day when news of the end of the
Civil War finally reached Galveston, Texas, nearly two and a half years after
the Emancipation Proclamation was signed by President Abraham Lincoln.
We appreciate that our state leaders have codified this momentous day into
law. Juneteenth has long represented a celebration of freedom. It stands as a
day of strength, honoring the spirit of those men, women, and children who lived
under the system of slavery in the United States.
Washington State University will be closed in honor of the Juneteenth
holiday. We encourage Cougs to join with their local communities to observe
this historic occasion. Some of our campuses are participating in events
across the state. For example:
- The WSU Vancouver Support and Empowerment for Employees of Color will
host a Gathering in the Park for Juneteenth and Joy from 2–4 p.m. Thursday, June 16.
- On Friday, June 17, WSU Vancouver will be among the groups participating in
the Juneteenth Freedom Celebration in Esther Short Park in Vancouver from
1–7 p.m. We invite all Cougs to submit their affirmations, reflections and
creations to the WSU Vancouver Gallery of Affirmations.
- NAACP Snohomish County will host its annual Juneteenth Community
Celebration on Saturday, June 18, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. in Willis Tucker Park in
- Sponsored by Palouse CORE, WSU Pullman, and with support from Community
Congregational Church of Christ in Pullman, A Celebration of Juneteenth
Freedom Day will take place at the Elson S. Floyd Cultural Center Sunday,
June 19, from 1–4 p.m. The free event will feature keynote speaker, Kiantha
Duncan, president of Spokane NAACP. All are welcome.
- Our student leaders are also getting involved, with ASWSU Global hosting
a “Hidden Figures” watch party on Monday, June 20, beginning at 7 p.m.
Juneteenth is more than just paying tribute to the landmark accomplishments
of the past. It’s about reflecting on what can be done individually and
collectively to address the inequities that persist in our society today.
We urge all Cougs to continue to learn from history and to create the kind
of inclusive world we all want to live in.
Kirk H. Schulz
President, WSU System
Elizabeth S. Chilton
Provost and Executive Vice President
Chancellor, WSU Pullman
Vice President, Academic Outreach and Innovation
Chancellor, WSU Global
Vice President, Health Sciences
Chancellor, WSU Spokane
Chancellor, WSU Tri‑Cities
Chancellor, WSU Vancouver
Chancellor, WSU Everett