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
- The 12th Annual Juneteenth New York Festival, with online and in-person events
- An outdoor exhibition, “Brooklyn Resists,” at the Center for Brooklyn History
- A bike tour of New York City locations connected to the Underground Railroad and the Abolitionist movement
- A Juneteenth celebration at the Staten Island Museum (free admission all day)
- An outdoor concert, “I Dream a Dream That Dreams Back at Me: A Juneteenth Celebration,” at Lincoln Center
- An outdoor storytelling event for all ages for all ages at the Macon Public Library
- Guided tours of Seneca Village, the predominately Black community that existed in what is now Central Park
- A pop-up art gallery showcasing emerging New York City Black artists
- A virtual literary festival, organized by the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture and running now through Juneteenth
- A solidarity march in the form of a 5K walk/run followed by a concert and health/wellness event
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.