LOGAN, Utah — Utah State University is pleased to announce its events marking the Juneteenth holiday. USU’s third annual celebration will include several days of activities and educational opportunities that are open to all USU students, faculty, staff and the public.
“The goal is to come, learn and celebrate,” said Cree Taylor, special assistant for Diversity, Equity & Inclusion for the dean of the College of Humanities & Social Sciences. “Then when you go home, think about ways in your own life and your family’s life where you can keep moving forward to promote equity and unity in the community.”
USU will commemorate Juneteenth with a weeklong series of virtual and in-person events, beginning on June 12 and lasting until June 18. These will include educational panels, presentations on early and current activism and activism’s importance, and will culminate in a Juneteenth Musical Celebration. The theme of this year’s events is Educate, Celebrate and Activate.
“With each of these activities, we hope people can increase a sense of awareness of who they are themselves, where they fit within a larger whole, and where they can work together with communities to build a sense of belonging within the Aggie family and within our nation as a whole,” said Isaiah Jones, senior director for Diversity, Equity & Inclusion.
Juneteenth commemorates the complete enforcement of the Thirteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which abolished slavery. Also known as “Emancipation Day,” Juneteenth marks the day when the Emancipation Proclamation was enforced in Texas, ending slavery in the United States on June 19, 1865. Though long celebrated in Black communities, the holiday has recently gained more widespread acknowledgement.
In March 2022, Utah Gov. Spencer Cox designated Juneteenth as an official state holiday, and the date was subsequently announced as an official USU campus holiday.
“Juneteenth is a celebration of freedom but it’s also a reminder that there is still work to be done, to protect those who experience marginalization and/or exclusion in our learning, working and living environments,” said Jane Irungu, vice president for Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion. “Let’s continue working together to preserve freedom, democracy, and inclusion.”
USU is proud to celebrate Juneteenth and use the holiday as an opportunity to provide educational opportunities and improve inclusiveness in the community.
Monday, June 12 — Juneteenth Kickoff
- A Juneteenth Welcome Reception from 3-4:30 p.m in the Big Blue Room (TSC 229) and on AggieCast. All are welcome to join as various speakers commemorate the historical significance of Juneteenth, fostering unity and cultural appreciation.
Friday, June 16 — Educate
- Educational Museum Displays in the TSC International Lounge from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Learn more about our history by walking through museum displays highlighting Black and African American History as it relates to Utah State University and the State of Utah. Displayed artifacts are provided by the USU Libraries, the Nora Eccles Harrison Museum of Art, and the Utah Black History Museum.
- An opportunity for Black and African American alumni to meet with and connect with USU students and student-athletes. 10 a.m. to noon in the West Stadium Center 3rd Floor Champions Club.
- Three panels in person in the TSC Ballroom and on AggieCast.
- Race & Policing | 1-2:30 p.m.
- Race & Parenting | 3-4:30 p.m.
- Celebration of Title IX: The Black Female Student Athlete Experience | 5-6:30 p.m.
- Rhythm and Writing Workshop hosted by Herb Newsome in the TSC Ballroom from 7-9 p.m.
Saturday, June 17 — Celebrate
- A Juneteenth Fun Run and 5K, honoring the legacy of Mignon Barker Richmond. The event starts at 8 a.m. with a 1-mile fun run, followed by a 5K run from 8:30-11 a.m. at the Reeder Cross-Country Course, 1165 E. 1400 North in Logan.
- A barbecue from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Bridger Park, 1179 N. 400 West in Logan. All participants will receive a free meal and Aggie Ice Cream. Games and activities will be available for families and children of all ages. This event is free and open to the public. To register, visit juneteenth.usu.edu.
Sunday, June 18 — Activate
- An Aggie Alumni Band Juneteenth Musical Celebration at 7 p.m. in the Daines Concert Hall. Come celebrate with the USU Aggie Alumni Band as they kick off their weekly summer concerts with their special opening concert of the season highlighting black composers and soloists in collaboration with the Debra Bonner Unity Gospel Choir in commemoration of the ending of slavery.
For more information on USU’s celebration and complete information on the various events, visit USU's Juneteenth event web page.
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