Beginning in calendar year 2021, Wake Forest University will recognize Juneteenth as a university holiday. Juneteenth honors and commemorates the freedom and emancipation of enslaved individuals and has been celebrated as a holiday by Black communities since the late 1880s.
The observance of Juneteenth as a University holiday is a small and important recognition that reflects on all aspects of Wake Forest’s history, while honoring the past and present contributions of African American communities. In To Stand With And For Humanity: Essays from the Wake Forest University Slavery, Race and Memory Project, President Hatch explains that to “acknowledge our history, accept responsibility and hold our institution accountable allows us to repair the harm and move toward a better Wake Forest.”
Wake Forest University joins the City of Winston-Salem and other higher education institutions in their recognition of Juneteenth as an official holiday. Juneteenth will be observed annually on June 19, or on the Friday before if June 19 occurs on a weekend. This summer, Juneteenth will be observed Friday, June 18, 2021. The 2021 Reynolda Campus Holiday Schedule, which includes this update, is now available on the Human Resource website.