Honoring Juneteenth

Message From the Dean on Honoring Juneteenth

Honoring Juneteenth

Dear NYLS Community,

Please join New York Law School, our city, our state, and our nation in celebrating Juneteenth, a holiday commemorating the end of slavery in the United States.

On June 19, 1865, Union troops arrived in Galveston, Texas bringing news of the end of the Civil War and putting into effect the Emancipation Proclamation, which had been issued by President Abraham Lincoln more than two years earlier. Communities and families have celebrated Juneteenth for 150 years. NYLS, New York State, and New York City began to observe this holiday last year. Today Juneteenth will become a federal holiday, the first new holiday since the establishment of Martin Luther King Jr. Day in 1983.

NYLS will observe this holiday tomorrow. We recommend that you use the day for celebration, rest and reflection, learning, giving back, and/or advocating for a more equitable and just society, depending on your circumstances and what feels right to you.

Below is a small sample of the many local events celebrating Juneteenth and connecting its legacy to the ongoing fight for racial justice and true equity. The links include information on registration.

We wish you a day of joy, rest, and renewed focus on our shared mission.

Anthony W. Crowell, Dean and President

William P. LaPiana, Academic Dean

Ella Mae Estrada, Associate Dean for Enrollment Management, Financial Aid, and Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Sally Harding, Dean of Students

Kirk Burkhalter, Professor of Law and Co-Chair, Faculty Committee on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Ann F. Thomas, Professor of Law and Co-Chair, Faculty Committee on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Celebrations and Educational Events

A New Book on Juneteenth

Harvard Law School Professor, former NYLS Professor, and featured CityLaw Breakfast speaker Annette Gordon-Reed has just published On Juneteenth (W. W. Norton). The book is “the essential, sweeping story of Juneteenth’s integral importance to American history, as told by a Pulitzer Prize–winning historian and Texas native.” It is a New York Times bestseller. Learn more.