The public is invited to a vibrant and meaningful celebration of Juneteenth at The Evergreen State College’s Tacoma campus from 2 to 5 p.m. on Sunday, June 11. 

This year’s celebration will feature Evergreen’s Executive Vice President, Dr. Dexter Gordon as keynote speaker, and music by Owour Arunga. 

The event celebrating freedom is occurring a week before the actual Juneteenth holiday and will honor the day in 1865 when Union troops finally freed enslaved African Americans from Galveston Bay and across Texas, two and a half years after President Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation.  

“This celebration will serve as a platform for community connection, celebration and education,” explained Dr. Dexter Gordon. “We hope that community members will come and help us as we honor the past, celebrate the present and work towards a future that’s rooted in equality and justice for everyone.”

Washington state passed legislation in 2021 to make Juneteenth a legal state-paid holiday – in 2007, the state’s legislature had designated Juneteenth as a day of remembrance. After years of advocacy, President Biden signed legislation, also in 2021, that made Juneteenth a federally recognized holiday. Both landmark pieces of legislation signify a crucial step in recognizing the long struggle for freedom and equality endured by African Americans in the U.S.

Evergreen’s Tacoma Campus is located at 1210 6th Avenue in the heart of the Hilltop Neighborhood. For more information about the Tacoma campus and its programs, visit evergreen.edu/Tacoma.