Shari Robinson, assistant vice provost for student life at UNH, shares why she feels it’s so important for our university community and the New Hampshire Seacoast community to pause and honor Juneteenth. Also known as Freedom Day or Emancipation Day, Juneteenth commemorates the emancipation of enslaved people in the United States, when Union soldiers arrived in Galveston, Texas on June 19, 1865 and announced the end of slavery, two and a half years after the Emancipation Proclamation was signed.
“It can be an occasion to engage the community in discussions, events and initiatives that promote understanding, inclusivity and equality,” Robinson says. “By acknowledging the significance of Juneteenth, the New Hampshire Seacoast can contribute to a larger dialogue on racial justice, foster empathy and strengthen its commitment to a diverse and inclusive community. Recognizing Juneteenth is a path to true celebration.”
If you’d like to take part in local celebrations of Juneteenth, there are many community events scheduled in the Seacoast area to honor the day, including events in Portsmouth and Exeter on the holiday itself.