Greetings, Wayne State Community:
I write to invite you to join a university-wide celebration of an event of local, national and historical significance. During the week of June 13, 2022, we will celebrate Juneteenth with a series of exciting events to commemorate June 19, which is also known as “Emancipation Day” and “Freedom Day” in many parts of the country.
Juneteenth represents the day — June 19, 1865 — when the last enslaved African Americans were informed that the Civil War had ended and they were free, some two years after the Emancipation Proclamation had been issued. Juneteenth has been recognized as a holiday in many parts of the country for over 100 years; last year, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer declared June 19 as Juneteenth Celebration Day in Michigan.
Wayne State University will observe Juneteenth with a series of in-person events designed to celebrate with and educate the campus community. Our commemoration begins with an opening celebration Monday, June 13, that will feature music, a drumming and dance performance, and a mobile voter registration drive. We will conclude Friday, June 17, with a freedom march and closing celebration.
The featured event Wednesday, June 15, is a keynote speech by Errol Henderson, Ph.D., a professor of political science at Penn State University and a Wayne State alumnus. Dr. Henderson's speech “Did Slave Revolution Win the Civil War?” will focus on the actions that enslaved Africans took to strengthen Union efforts in the war and to deny resources to the Confederacy. Dr. Henderson has authored approximately 50 scholarly publications, including five books. An international voice on war and peace, he is one of the leading scholars of racism and anti-racism in world politics.
I hope you will join all of these exciting events, and please encourage others to participate. You can find more information at wayne.edu/diversity/juneteenth.
I look forward to seeing you there!
In peace and solidarity,
Marquita T. Chamblee, Ph.D.