Dear Cincinnati State Community,

Yesterday, President Joseph Biden signed legislation that immediately establishes Juneteenth (June 19) as a federal holiday to commemorate the end of slavery in the United States.

Since June 19th falls on a Saturday this year, Cincinnati State will close today, Friday, June 18, 2021, at 12:00 p.m. (noon) to commemorate this historic event and new federal holiday.

As President Biden said in a signing ceremony at the White House: “All Americans can feel the power of this day, and learn from our history.”

Juneteenth changed our nation and deserves this high level of recognition. It commemorates the date June 19, 1865– two months after the U.S. Civil War ended– when enslaved African-Americans in Galveston, Texas, were informed that President Abraham Lincoln had signed the Emancipation Proclamation, freeing all slaves in the U.S., nearly two and half years earlier.

The National Museum of African American History and Culture, a part of the Smithsonian Institution, describes the holiday saying: “Juneteenth marks our country’s second independence day. Although it has long been celebrated in the African American community, this monumental event remains largely unknown to most Americans. The historical legacy of Juneteenth shows the value of never giving up hope in uncertain times.”

We encourage you to learn more. Here is a good starting place: https://nmaahc.si.edu/blog-post/historical-legacy-juneteenth

Juneteenth can best be celebrated through reflection and service to others. I also see it as an opportunity to continue our efforts related to diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) at Cincinnati State. Our new DEI Steering Council will have its first meeting on July 1 and I look forward to sharing more soon about the Council’s work.

Best Wishes,

Dr. Monica Posey
President, Cincinnati State Technical and Community College