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.