Canisius to Host Inaugural Juneteenth Celebration

June 16, 2021

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Buffalo, NY – Canisius College plans to host its inaugural Juneteenth Celebration on Friday, June 18.  Faculty, staff and students will come together for a day of education, solidarity and service in honor of the African-American community.  The commemoration begins at 9:00 a.m. with opening remarks and an overview of the history of Juneteenth.  Members of the campus community will then divide into groups and disperse into the neighboring community to participate in various clean-up efforts.  Afterwards, participants will regroup to hear stories surrounding the history of Juneteenth and the struggle for freedom and liberation from members of Tradition Keepers: Black Storytellers of WNY. 

“This commemoration marks the start of an important tradition at Canisius College and is a wonderful opportunity for the campus community to come together in service and celebration,” says Fatima Rodriguez Johnson, associate dean of diversity and inclusion at Canisius College.  “Our hope is to inspire conversation and action in our ongoing work toward anti-racism, diversity, equity and inclusion.”

It was on June 19, 1865, when Maj. Gen. Gordon Granger and more than 1,800 federal troops arrived in Galveston, TX, to take control of the state nearly two months after the end of the Civil War, confirming the freedom of the last remaining enslaved Americans in the deepest parts of the South. Gen. Granger read President Abraham Lincoln’s 1863 Emancipation Proclamation to them that day in Galveston. Only through the 13th Amendment ratified six months later in December of 1865 did emancipation put an end to slavery.  Juneteenth commemorates the anniversary of the date when news of emancipation finally reached all enslaved Americans and Canisius is proud to honor this day through acts of solidarity.

One of 27 Jesuit universities in the nation, Canisius is the premier private university in Western New York. Canisius prepares leaders – intelligent, caring, faithful individuals – able to pursue and promote excellence in their professions, their communities and their service to humanity.