Note the University’s observation of the Juneteenth holiday this year. Celebrated on June 19, this year Juneteenth falls on a Sunday. As a result, BU will observe Juneteenth on Friday, June 17, despite Monday’s federal holiday, June 20. (BU added Juneteenth to our academic calendar before the federal government adopted the holiday. In the future, BU will observe the federal holiday.)

Communities across the United States have long celebrated the anniversary of June 19, 1865, as the day slavery was truly abolished. Although some states recognized the holiday as early as 1980, it only became a federal holiday in 2021.

Juneteenth provides an opportunity to reflect on the importance of the day in our history, achieved only after a bloody civil war. In addition to celebration, reflection and remembrance, consider participating in a Boston Medical Center-hosted virtual, guided discussion with L’Merchie Frazier, from the Museum of African American History, Boston/Nantucket on Thursday, June 16, at noon. Click here to register. 

Also, please watch for IDEAS, the Diversity & Inclusion Office’s quarterly newsletter that will highlight our work and news concerning Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, Accessibility and Social justice (IDEAS) for all members of our BUSM community – students, staff, faculty and alumni. 

Finally, thank you all for your continued dedication to our School and Medical Campus community. Many of you have long been engaged in efforts to promote inclusivity, but as recent local and national events have shown us, we have a lot more work to do. Please take this opportunity to consider the importance of Juneteenth and what we can do to further our mission of inclusivity. 

Angelique C. Harris, PhD, (She/They)
Associate Dean for Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, ad interim 

Karen Antman, MD, (She/Her)