Juneteenth time for reflection; University closes at noon

Dear Johns Hopkins Community:

The past several weeks have shown starkly the toll and trauma of racism. We understand that it is incumbent upon us not only to listen and support our Black and Brown colleagues but to take actions that embody our belief that their flourishing at Johns Hopkins truly matters. In the coming days, we will share more about a framework for determining together the steps we can take to combat racial inequity and forge a path forward as a university.

In recognition of the need as well for reflection and rest, the university will close for regular business at noon this Friday, June 19, and provide a half day of paid leave to employees. For those whose work involves essential operations, patient care, or COVID-19 and other essential research activities, this leave may be taken in the next several weeks, in coordination with their supervisor.

This Friday is an apt day to take time as many in our community and around the country mark the 155th anniversary of Juneteenth, the day in 1865—two and a half years after the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation—when news of their freedom finally reached hundreds of thousands of enslaved people in Texas. In the years since, Juneteenth celebrations have honored the strength, resilience, and independence of Black Americans in the face of slavery and enduring discrimination.

We look forward to using this day to reflect upon the significance of this moment in history and the difficult but essential work ahead to achieve the full promise inherent in Juneteenth. We hope you will take some time to do so as well and offer below information about some of the events planned across Johns Hopkins to commemorate this important date and engage in critical conversations about race and racial justice.


Ronald J. Daniels

Sunil Kumar
Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs

Daniel Ennis
Senior Vice President for Finance and Administration

Events taking place on Friday, June 19

Bloomberg School of Public Health
Juneteenth: Commemorate, Celebrate & Elevate, 11 a.m. to noon
Celebrating African-American culture and community
Speaker: Keilah A. Jacques, instructor and assistant director of SOURCE.

Hopkins Diaspora Employee Resource Group and Black Faculty and Students Association
Juneteenth Freedom Day: The Hidden History of Juneteenth, 1 p.m.
Featuring dramatic readings, songs of freedom, and a moment of reflection

SAIS and The SNF Agora Institute
A Conversation on Protests and Mobilization, noon to 1 p.m.
Moderator: Hahrie Han, professor of political science at Johns Hopkins and director of the SNF Agora Institute.

Carey Business School Black Alumni Network
Juneteenth Virtual Luncheon
“Doors” open at 11 a.m. and program begins at noon

Berman Institute of Bioethics
Our Problem is Power, noon to 1 p.m.
A Juneteenth discussion of anti-racism by Olufemi O. Taiwo, Assistant Professor of Philosophy, Georgetown University
Join via Zoom, Password: Taiwo

Black Faculty and Staff Association
Juneteenth Celebration (Zoom Webinar), 5 to 6:30 p.m.

Society of Black Alumni and Peabody Society of Black Alumni
Juneteenth Virtual Happy Hour, 6 p.m.

Hopkins Diaspora Employee Resource Group
“Miss Juneteenth” Virtual Movie Premiere and Q&A, 6:30 p.m.