A Day On - Celebrating Juneteenth

June 15, 2023

“Don’t think of it as a day off – think of it as a day on!”

This is the message shared by organizers of the University’s third annual Juneteenth celebration. The request is clear – observe Juneteenth through action. Members of the UIW community can do just that at the event to be held Monday, June 19 from 2:30 – 7 p.m. in the Student Engagement Center Ballroom, hosted by UIW Mission and Ministry, student social justice organization As One We Will, UIW Athletics and more. Registration for the event is required.

Juneteenth commemorates the effective end of slavery in the United States, the day in 1865 when Union soldiers arrived in Galveston, Texas and announced that slavery was abolished, two years after the Emancipation Proclamation was signed. Now a federal holiday, Juneteenth celebrations and observations have become increasingly popular in recent years. The University of the Incarnate Word's celebration is just one example of the growing recognition of Juneteenth as an important day in American history.

This year's event will focus on educating attendees about the detrimental effects of racial biases in healthcare, which negatively impact the well-being and health outcomes of Black and minority populations. Beginning at 2:30 p.m., guests will enjoy a healthy lunch and an informational health fair focused on the wellness of Black patients, families and other minority populations.

Following the fair, an educational panel of experts will discuss "best practices, advocacy, and social action that can foster greater equity and community wellness." For the final two hours, attendees will enjoy a celebration with music provided by the Gospel Praise Team, followed by spoken word performances by UIW poets and Jess Mahogany, who will use her art to highlight the power and resilience of Black history, art and culture.

As One We Will’s student leaders will conclude the event with information about further opportunities for community members to get involved in their efforts to promote equality and social justice.

Learn more about the event and register here.