Juneteenth Independence Day.
Juneteenth Independence Day, also known as Freedom Day.

On June 19, 1865, Union troops arrived in Galveston, Texas with the news that the Civil War was over, and all enslaved people were to be freed. This momentous day is now known as Juneteenth.

Last year, President Joe Biden signed the Juneteenth National Independence Day Act into law and it became a federal holiday. Governor Brian Kemp also recently signed legislation to make Juneteenth a Georgia state holiday. This year, Emory University declared Juneteenth an official university holiday.

“Juneteenth is being recognized nationally, and non-Black people are becoming more aware of its historical significance,” says Ama Ampadu-Fofie, Goizueta’s director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. “Emory has traditionally celebrated Juneteenth with a variety of events and speaking engagements. Still, the official acknowledgment of Juneteenth as a holiday demonstrates our sustained commitment to commemorating and acknowledging African Americans’ ongoing battle for equality.”

The following events are available throughout the Emory community this month.

June 16

Power to Heal | 12:00 p.m.

The School of Medicine will hold its third Juneteenth Program, this year in partnership with the Woodruff Health Sciences Center and the Grady Health System this year. A panel discussion will follow the viewing of the documentary, “Power to Heal,” which tells the story of how racial justice and healthcare crossed to create Medicare.

The event host is Sheryl Heron, MD, professor of Emergency Management; vice-chair of Faculty Equity, Engagement and Empowerment in the Department of Emergency Medicine; associate dean for Community Engagement, Equity and Inclusion; and associate director of education and training for the Injury Prevention Research Center at Emory University School of Medicine.

The panel will be moderated by Nate Spell, MD, associate dean for education and professional development at Emory University School of Medicine, and Nancy DeSousa 17PhD, assistant director of the Office of Multicultural Affairs, Learner Diversity Programs for Graduate Medical Education at Emory School of Medicine.

Panelists include Nanette Wenger, MD, cardiologist with Grady Health System; Joanne McGriff 17L, MD, assistant professor of Global Health and chief diversity officer for Emory University Rollins School of Public Health; Yolanda Wimberly, MD, chief health equity officer for Grady Health System; Ildemaro González, chief health equity officer for Emory Healthcare; Jasmine Clark 13PhD, lecturer at Emory University School of Nursing and representative for District 108 in Georgia’s House of Representatives; and Jasmin Eatman 23M 28PhD, a current student of Emory’s School of Medicine.

The virtual event is free and open to the public. Register here.

Charmaine Minniefield exhibit at the Michael C. Carlos Museum.
Charmaine Minniefield exhibit at the Michael C. Carlos Museum. Photo credit ©JerrySiegel.com.

June 18

Indigo Prayers: A Creation Story | 5:00 p.m.

If you’ve been to the Carlos Museum recently, you may have seen the work of Atlanta Artist Charmaine Minniefield in the exhibition, “Indigo Prayers: A Creation Story.” The art reflects Minniefield’s time in West Africa when she searched for her grandmother’s ancestral lines.

The event will begin with a gallery talk on the exhibition, followed by a trip to the King Historic District to view Minniefield’s mural, “Cosmic Cypher, Prayer Circle.”

Registration is required, as space is limited. Please note that the event costs $25 for Carlos Museum members and $50 for nonmembers. This event is co-sponsored by the Emory Libraries. Goizueta Business School endeavors to be the leader among business schools as a place for thriving and growth for every person, without exception. Learn more about our commitment to advancing awareness of diversity, equity, and inclusion.

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Alexandra Shimalla
Alexandra Shimalla is a freelance higher education journalist.