On June 19, 1865, Union Army Major General Gordon Granger stood in Galveston, Texas, and issued the order declaring “all slaves are free.” As Texas was the last state in the Confederacy to fall, the date of Granger’s declaration has since become known as Juneteenth, recognizing when—2.5 years after the Emancipation Proclamation—all enslaved people were freed.

In observance of Juneteenth, Case Western Reserve University will be closed on June 20, 2022. We urge members of our community to reflect on the meaning of this day; share perspectives on race, slavery, and freedom; and celebrate in our community. Above all, we hope these actions will spur learning, discussion and action.

2022 Juneteenth—What Juneteenth Means To Me

To commemorate and honor Juneteenth 2022, America's second independence day, we asked community and school of medicine leaders to reflect on what Juneteenth means to me.  

Please watch the short video reflections about Juneteenth from Joan Southgate who completed a 519-mile Underground Railroad journey from Ripley, Ohio to St. Catherines, Ontario; Katherine Puckett, Board President of Restore Cleveland Hope; Stan Gerson, MD, Dean of the School of Medicine and Blanton S. Tolbert, PhD, Vice Dean for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.

Joan Southgate, Retired Social Worker and Founder of Restore Cleveland Hope


Katherine Puckett, Board President of Restore Cleveland Hope


Blanton S. Tolbert, PhD, Vice Dean of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion 


Stan Gerson, MD, Dean of the School of Medicine


2022 Juneteenth Community Initiatives

Freedom Fest: Saturday, June 18, 2022 | Mall C - downtown Cleveland  | Noon - 10 p.m. | Sponsored by MetroHealth Cleveland

Coventry Village: A Black-owned business vendor market will offer goods, while bands like Mourning [A] BLKstar, Muamin Collective, Smith Taylor and local poets perform. “Black Panther” will show in the park at night. Coventry Road, Cleveland Heights. Noon, June 19. coventryvillage.org

Rock & Roll Hall of Fame: Performances by Djapo Cultural Arts Institute, Afi Scruggs, Ngina Fayola and more will make up the outdoor Juneteenth celebration at the Rock Hall. Free, museum admission not included. 1100 E. 9th St., Cleveland. Noon-8 p.m., June 19. rockhall.com

Juneteenth in the African American Cultural Garden: Dance, spoken word and theatrical performances will fill the Cultural Gardens’ Centennial Peace Plaza on Juneteenth. Free. Located on Harrison Dillard Trail, Cleveland. 11 a.m.-3 p.m., June 19. clevelandculturalgardens.org

Cleveland Public Library Juneteenth Festivities: The Cleveland Public Library and many of its branches will host Juneteenth celebrations, including a poetry reading, a documentary showing and a panel discussion leading up to June 19. Find a list of the free events - a mix of virtual and in-person - online. Through June 19. cpl.org.

Juneteenth BluesFest: Enjoy a beach day with plenty of live music at Lorain’s Lakeview Park. Audacity for Sale, Hubb’s Groove and Da Land Brass Band will perform bluesy tunes for attendees at this free event. 1800 West Erie Ave., Lorain. 3-7 p.m., June 19. loraincountymetroparks.com

Juneteenth on Buckeye: The Buckeye Summer Soul Series is hosting its fourth annual Juneteenth Celebration, with entertainment, giveaways, food, vendors and more. Art & Soul Park, 11802 Buckeye Road, Cleveland. Noon-6 p.m., June 19. facebook.com/buckeyesummersoulseries.

Juneteenth Garden Party: Village Family Farms and the Little Africa Food Collaborative will team up for a garden party on Saturday, with the theme “How are the Children.” 1662 Crawford Road, Cleveland. 1 p.m., June 19. facebook.com/littleafricafco

Juneteenth Summer Music Fest: Local performers will make up this summer music fest event, hosted at The Grand Ballroom of Sausalito Catering. The lineup includes Ej and the Animals Band, Dre Walton, Yanna I’Vonne, Sharlenne Evett and more. Tickets $20-$300. 10808 Granger Road, Garfield Heights. 9 p.m.-2 a.m., June 19. Eventbrite link

Mx. Juneteenth, a Black & Queer Liberation Celebration: Drag and DJ performances, food, music, art and vendors will all be part of the festivities at this event. Free, with a suggested donation of $5-$10. 4701 Perkins Ave., Cleveland. 3-7 p.m., June 19tinyurl.com/MxJuneteenthRSVP

Juneteenth Bicycle Ride around the Circle: Join a group bike ride around University Circle, and learn more about African American achievements in the area along the way. Free, registration limited. 928 Wheelock Road, Cleveland. 10:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m., June 19. Eventbrite link

Juneteenth Block Party & Vendor Fair: An app dedicated to supporting Black businesses, will put on a party at UnBar Cafe in Cleveland’s Larchmere neighborhood, hosting local businesses in one shopping location. 12635 Larchmere Blvd., Cleveland. Noon-6 p.m., June 19facebook.com/lokulapp

Land Before Rhyme Juneteenth Show: Local spoken word organization Land Before Rhyme will host a Juneteenth poetry performance on Saturday. Tickets $15. 2728 Lancashire Road, Cleveland Heights. 7:30-10:30 p.m. Eventbrite link

Yay! Saturdays at Wade Oval: Cleveland’s University Circle neighborhood is bringing a little extra fun to the weekends this spring and summer. The six-week series called “YAY! Saturdays” offers family-friendly activities, workshops, games and performances around Wade Oval. Each YAY! Saturdays event will feature activities in three zones: an education-focused “Discovery Zone,” a fitness-focused “Shape Up Zone” and an arts-focused “Fan Zone.” Free, registration is recommended online.

Looking back at 2021 Juneteenth—A Commemoration of Justice Delayed

Doris Evans, MD ((MED '68), Clinical Professor of Pediatrics at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine provides a brief history of Juneteenth (June 19)—the importance of commemorating the day and its significance in today's world.

Watch a short video from Doris Evans, MD

Dr. Doris Evans