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Observing Juneteenth

NC State community:

This weekend, our country celebrates and observes Juneteenth. Sunday, June 19, commemorates emancipation and the end of slavery in the United States. In observance of this eminently important event in our country’s history, Juneteenth is recognized as an annual holiday for our university, and as such, no classes will be held Monday, June 20. 

I am further pleased to report, in accord with Gov. Roy Cooper’s recent Executive Order 262, UNC System President Peter Hans has authorized all system institutions to provide an additional day of paid leave for the purposes of cultural, religious or personal significance. This leave can be taken to observe Juneteenth or another single day significant to each individual leave-earning employee. Specific guidance on how to use the leave will be forthcoming from NC State University Human Resources.

If you’re on or near campus Monday, I encourage you to stop by Harris Field between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. for the university’s inaugural Juneteenth Celebration of freedom. Several campus departments and groups have come together to sponsor the event, which will focus on community, rest and celebration. 

I also encourage you to honor the day by learning more about Juneteenth and to reflect on our country’s past, present and future. It’s important to recognize that the struggle for true freedom and justice for all continues since slavery ended 157 years ago. It’s our responsibility as a university — and as individuals — to continue doing all we can to promote a culture of equity, inclusion and belonging on our campus and beyond. 

Randy Woodson