Campus Messages

An archive of email messages sent to the entire UCSF community by the Chancellor and members of the Chancellor's Cabinet.

Juneteenth National Independence Day

Dear UCSF Community,

On June 19, 1865, enslaved people of African descent in Galveston, Texas were finally told that they were free from slavery—nearly 2.5 years after the Emancipation Proclamation had formally freed them. Since that time, June 19 has come to be known and celebrated as Juneteenth, the date marking the end of slavery in the United States.

“Juneteenth has never been a celebration of victory, or an acceptance of the way things are. It's a celebration of progress. It's an affirmation that despite the most painful parts of our history, change is possible—and there is still so much work to do.” – Former President Barack Obama

Last year, Juneteenth coincided with the long-overdue national reckoning on anti-Black racism. This year, we are thrilled with the news that President Joe Biden has signed a bill establishing June 19 as a federal holiday, Juneteenth National Independence Day, a significant step toward acknowledging the grave historic injustices committed against Black people in this country. At UCSF, we applaud this decision. We also renew our commitment to Black lives and to dismantling systemic racism in our own organization through the UCSF Anti-racism Initiative.

In observance of Juneteenth, we encourage the UCSF community to reflect on the full and enduring significance of June 19: a day of truth and of joy. We also encourage you to participate in one of the many Bay Area Juneteenth events.

Sincerely,

J. Renée Navarro, PharmD, MD
Vice Chancellor
Chief Diversity and Outreach Officer
Professor of Clinical Anesthesiology and Perioperative Care
She/Her/Hers

LaMisha Hill, PhD
Director, Multicultural Affairs, Office of Diversity and Outreach
Assistant Adjunct Professor, Obstetrics, Gynecology & Reproductive Sciences
Co-Chair, The Black Caucus at UCSF
She/Her/Hers

Inez Bailey
Director of Education & Strategic Initiatives, Epidemiology & Biostatistics
Co-Chair, The Black Caucus at UCSF