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UMGC Global Media Center
Juneteenth "Is Truly an American Holiday"

Editor's Note: This message by University of Maryland Global Campus President Gregory W. Fowler was shared with the university's worldwide community on Monday, June 19, 2023.. 

The Juneteenth federal holiday celebrates the liberation of our country’s last enslaved Black people on June 19, 1865. At the same time, it memorializes those who never lived to experience their moment of freedom, and it marks the progress we have made as a society.

President Barack Obama, in commemorating the 150th anniversary of Juneteenth, said, “Juneteenth has never been a celebration of victory, or an acceptance of the way things are. It’s a celebration of progress. It’s an affirmation that despite the most painful parts of our history, change is possible.”

Juneteenth is truly an American holiday, and it celebrates what we can achieve when we recognize our shared humanity and work to break down the walls that have long divided us. From the most troubled moments of our past can spring the promise of a brighter future.

Thank you for the work we do together—here at UMGC and in our everyday lives—to forge a new path forward, support one another, and lift up voices that are too often marginalized or forgotten.