Wave of Freedom

The Juneteenth 2023 theme, “Wave of Freedom,” was an affirmation of every person’s right to equity and dignity. The first wave began in 1863 with President Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation, while General Order No. 3 and the 13th Amendment (ratified by Congress in December 1865) were the last surges toward finally dismantling the institution of slavery in the country. While Juneteenth is a reminder of delayed freedom for many Black Americans, it is also an opportunity for everyone to reflect on how we can ensure the country continues to live up to its founding principles of liberty and justice for all.


Juneteenth at the U

After the Utah Board of Higher Education’s approval of adding Juneteenth to university calendars, the University of Utah’s campus celebrations highlighted Black resilience, determination, and progress while examining the continuing struggle for racial justice.

Juneteenth is a time to celebrate and commemorate the triumphs of generations who fought for freedom, believing that justice and equality are their rights as American citizens. While true equality is yet to be achieved, June 19, 1865, marked the day where the dream of being free turned into reality and that hope for a better and equal life began.

Going forward, and for all future years, this holiday will be included as part of the University of Utah’s regular holiday schedule.