Reflect, engage and celebrate Juneteenth

Shades of Freedom: A pre and post Juneteenth Conversation with Heather Burton and Robert Solomon Event Logo

Case Western Reserve University will be closed Friday, June 18 in observance of Juneteenth.

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.

The Office for Inclusion, Diversity and Equal Opportunity hopes you can join the following events inspired by Juneteenth:

On Juneteenth Conversation

Wednesday, June 16 at 2 p.m. EDT

This event is a virtual conversation focusing on On Juneteenth, published in May 2021. On Juneteenth was written by Annette Gordon-Reed, a 2009 Anisfield-Wolf Book Award Winner

On Juneteenth provides a historian’s view of the country’s long road to Juneteenth, recounting both its origins in Texas and the enormous hardships that African-Americans have endured in the century since, from Reconstruction through Jim Crow and beyond. All too aware of the stories of cowboys, ranchers, and oilmen that have long dominated the lore of the Lone Star State, Gordon-Reed―herself a Texas native and the descendant of enslaved people brought to Texas as early as the 1820s―forges a new and profoundly truthful narrative of her home state, with implications for us all.

Register for the conversation via Google Form.

The On Juneteenth Conversation is sponsored by the Cleveland Humanities Collaborative and the Baker-Nord Center for the Humanities.

“Shades of Freedom: A pre and post Juneteenth Conversation"

Thursday, June 17, from noon to 1:30 p.m. EDT

In this public presentation, Robert Solomon, vice president of the Office for Inclusion, Diversity and Equal Opportunity, and Heather Burton, senior director for faculty and institutional diversity, will explore the journey of freedom in America for African descended people from 1619 to 2021; the highs and lows along the journey and where the road can lead for the future.

The talk is sponsored by the Office for Inclusion, Diversity and Equal Opportunity. For more information email

Register for the “Shades of Freedom: A pre and post Juneteenth Conversation" event via CampusGroups.

Commemorate Juneteenth with a week of events at Cleveland Public Library

Saturday June 12 to Friday, June 18

Cleveland Public Library is celebrating Juneteenth with a week of cultural education programs and activities to honor the day, as well as spark conversation about the history and future of Black America.

For more information and to participate, visit the Cleveland Public Library website.

The World on Stage at the Cleveland Cultural Gardens

Saturday, June 19, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. EDT

Join the African American Cultural Garden in celebrating the emancipation of enslaved people in the United States. The day will feature a re-enactment of the 1865 Juneteenth event, a student essay contest sponsored by the Cleveland Cavaliers, spoken word performances, drill teams, drumming and the Grand March. The event will take place at Centennial Peace Plaza (1051 Martin Luther King Blvd. Cleveland, OH 44108).

For additional information, visit

Juneteenth Freedom Fest

Saturday, June 19, from noon to 10 p.m. EDT

A collaborative of the Cleveland Public Library, Downtown Cleveland Alliance, Karamu House, and more will feature renowned musicians, vendors and family friendly activities. The event will take place at Mall C in Downtown Cleveland (300 Lakeside Ave. E, Cleveland, OH 44113)

For additional information, visit