Juneteenth 2024 Celebration

Join us for a vibrant Juneteenth celebration at the University of Denver! We will commemorate this significant milestone in African American history with a series of engaging events. Our celebration aims to foster dialogue, promote understanding, and honor the resilience and achievements of the Black community. Together, let us celebrate freedom, justice, and equality as we reflect on the past, acknowledge the present, and envision a more inclusive and equitable future.


June 20 | 11:30 AM- 1 PM

Location: Anderson Academic Commons 340

The topic of the panel is Now What? Panel: What We Do In The Meantime: Exploring our Ethic of Care and Place for Black Communities at DU, which is an opportunity to explore our approaches across campus that strengthen the experiences of our Black community members on campus. This topic is informed by the narratives that the Associate Director DEI | Black Community Initiatives, John Miller IV, has collected over the last year regarding how Black community members and those in close relationships with them are wondering about the systems/strategies there are to understand, elevate, and invest in improving community experiences. 

Join us for a thought-provoking panel, "What We Do In The Meantime: Exploring our Ethic of Care and Place for Black Communities at DU," as part of our Juneteenth 2024 celebration. Delve into discussions surrounding the ongoing efforts to cultivate a nurturing environment and sense of belonging for Black communities at the University of Denver. Explore the importance of an ethic of care in addressing the needs and aspirations of Black individuals and communities, as well as the role of place-making initiatives in fostering inclusion and empowerment.

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Watch the 2024 Juneteenth Panel on the BCI YouTube channel.

Dannese Mapanda

Black Freedom Dreams

"Juneteenth reminds me of Black freedom dreams, my freedom dreams. In 1865, the port city of Galveston, Texas, or the land formerly known as Mexico as I call it, where so much blood, Indigenous blood, Mexican and Tejano blood, Black blood had been shed, there was a freedom ring that was heard across the world. I hear that ring still and it is a reminder that I stand on others' shoulders and I, like my ancestors—my Mascogo, Afro-Seminole, African and Black ancestors—who honor Juneteenth with me, will have to prepare a place for the generations that come after so they may experience more joy, more rest, more freedom; so they may experience liberation. Juneteenth represents liberation and it belongs to us. It is a constant reminder that Black freedom is predestined, that only we can tell our stories and that there is no freedom, without Black freedom." - Dannese Mapanda

Visit the formal Juneteenth site

What Is Juneteenth?

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Article from Henry Louis Gates, Jr. explaining the history and importance of Juneteenth as a national holiday. 

Whos is this for? (Grade level, non-Black, parents, teachers, etc.)

PBS.org article

Juneteenth. Senses of Freedom: Exploring the Tastes, Sounds, and Experiences

National Museum of African American History and Culture logo: black box with name written

A plethora of general resources related to Juneteenth. Including digital toolkits, reading lists, playlists, videos, and activities. 

Whos is this for? (Grade level, non-Black, parents, teachers, etc.)

National Museum of African American History & Culture resources

Understanding Juneteenth: An African-born American’s perspective

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Opinion article from the perspectives of an African born person reflecting on the importance of understanding African American contexts. 

Whos is this for? (Grade level, non-Black, parents, teachers, etc.)

Deo Mwano article

How Juneteenth (and Other Celebrations) Can Be Meaningful For Your Family

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An article about a parent reflecting on how to teach her young child about Juneteenth and learning what her families first celebration could look like.

Who is this for? (Grade level, non-Black, parents, teachers, etc.): Parents of children under 8 years old

PBS Kids for Parents article

NMAAHC Kids. Understanding & Celebrating Juneteenth

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Juneteenth is a time for celebration and reflection with the whole family. For young children, the abstract concept of freedom and the hard history of slavery can be challenging to grasp. NMAAHC’s early childhood education team offers the following resources to support young children’s understanding and celebration of Juneteenth: a guide on how to talk about slavery and freedom in age appropriate ways, an activity to inspire hope and activism, and a children’s book and online resources list. 

Who is this for? (Grade level, non-Black, parents, teachers, etc.)

National Museum of African American History & Culture resources

Juneteenth for kids: How to explain and celebrate this important holiday

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Explaining Juneteenth for kids doesn’t have to be difficult. These activities and ideas for celebrating can help make the learning process engaging and fun.  

Whos is this for? (Grade level, non-Black, parents, teachers, etc.) Caregivers

Care.com | A. Meadows-Fernandez activities 

23 Juneteenth for Kids Activities and Free Printable Flag for Freedom Day

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Juneteenth for kids and Juneteenth activities for students: Freedom Day Juneteenth history explained with Juneteenth printable activities, emancipation lesson plans, book recommendations, activity sheets, including FREE Juneteenth flag coloring sheet printables. Inspiring, meaningful, and respectful ways to celebrate Juneteenth with kids! 

Whos is this for? (Grade level, non-Black, parents, teachers, etc.)

Homeschool Super Freak | Jacqueline Wilson resources

Why Juneteenth Matters For White People, Too

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Opinion piece from Tim Wise expounding the meaning and implications of Juneteenth for White-identifying people.  

Whos is this for? (Grade level, non-Black, parents, teachers, etc.)

Yes! Solutions Journalism | Tim Wise

Juneteenth honors Black emancipation and the hope of equality. A federal holiday doesn't help

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They gave everyone a day off to honor post-Civil War emancipation while Black history, our lives and our rights are under attack right now. (Opinion Piece)

NBCNews | Treva B Lindsey article


Travis County Juneteenth Celebration 

The Travis County Juneteenth Celebration was held on June 17, 2022 at the 700 Lavaca Parking Garage. Theme for this year was "Coming Home: Back to the Gathering Spot". 

Juneteenth for Kids! | History for Kids | Seed of Melanin Kids! 

Join us for Seed of Melanin School 🏫 as we learn about the history behind the celebration of June 19th or Juneteenth! 

Juneteenth for Kids | History of Juneteenth | How do you celebrate Juneteenth? 

In this video lesson, children will learn about the Emancipation Proclamation, Juneteenth celebrations past and present, and the Juneteenth flag. 

What is Juneteenth? | Colossal Questions  

You may have heard about the holiday known as “Juneteenth”! But, have you ever wondered how it got started?? 

Music Playlists

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Songs for Freedom: A Juneteenth Playlist

Pianist Lara Downes has hand-picked a playlist of songs for the newly appointed holiday that are personal and powerful.

Listen to the playlist

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Juneteenth: Freedom Songs

A collection of songs commemorating Juneteenth, a holiday celebrating the liberation of all Black slaves in America.

Listen to the playlist 

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Juneteenth 2021: Freedom Songs

To celebrate Juneteenth, as Black Americans have since the inception of the holiday in 1866, is to acknowledge one of the United States' ugliest legacies while honoring the resilience of the Black American spirit. 

Listen to the playlist

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A Celebration of Progress

“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." - Barack Obama

See Barack Obama's full message

Additional Colorado Resources & Happenings

Denver Juneteenth Festival

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Celebrated in cities across the country, Denver is home to the Juneteenth Music Festival, a dynamic community event which annually attracts 70,000 people. In 2021, Juneteenth was recognized as a commemorative holiday by Denver City Council.

Visit the website

How Juneteenth became a Colorado state holiday

Colorado Rep. Leslie Herod

DENVER — It is official: Juneteenth is a state holiday in Colorado.

Governor Jared Polis signed a bill Monday, May 2, that makes Juneteenth Colorado's eleventh state holiday. The bill signing took place at Cleo Parker Robinson dance studio in Denver.

Visit the website