Temple to close Friday to recognize Juneteenth

The holiday marks the day when enslaved people in Texas learned of the Emancipation Proclamation in 1865, two years after it was signed.

Temple University will close on Friday to recognize Juneteenth, President Richard Englert, Provost Joanne Epps and Chief Operating Officer Kevin Clark wrote in an announcement Wednesday evening. 

Juneteenth commemorates the ending of slavery in the United States in honor of June 19, 1865, the day Union soldiers arrived in Galveston, Texas and state residents learned of President Abraham Lincoln’s 1863 Emancipation Proclamation that freed enslaved African Americans, according to Encyclopedia Britannica.

The day is important to recognize and honor, and a “commemoration that too often passes by without the acknowledgment that it deserves,” the university announcement read.

The announcement comes a day after Mayor Jim Kenney signed an executive order to make the day a City Holiday in Philadelphia, according to a press release from the City. 

Only essential personnel will report to work on Friday, as the university reflects “on ways in which we can work to overcome barriers to equality,” the announcement read. 

Faculty teaching Summer I courses should adjust their assignments and classes around observance of the holiday, according to the announcement.

1 Comment

  1. Most people at the university that are considered essential personnel are African American. I find it a little odd that the vast majority of the white campus personnel will be able to get this day off in addition to having had the ability to work from home for the past 3 months while the essential staff are required to report to work. It’s sad but not unexpected.

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