Juneteenth commemorates June 19, 1865, the day that enslaved Black people in Texas learned that they were free. As Princeton University President Christopher L. Eisgruber notes in his 2021 blog: "It is an occasion to celebrate the end of slavery and to renew our commitment to America’s ongoing quest for a genuinely equal and inclusive society."
Service and civic engagement offer vital avenues to acquire a deeper understanding of societal issues and an appreciation for the complex factors that drive these issues. At the Pace Center, we recognize we must explore and grapple with the historical and contemporary structures and norms that lie at the root of societal problems and we emphasize the importance of careful preparation and reflection as a means to do so.
As Princeton University recognizes June 17 as a University holiday, we've curated a few resources to help everyone in the Princeton University community reflect on Juneteenth.
Listen to Learn
In service and civic engagement, assessing your own understanding of the topic or issue at hand is a critical starting point. As you seek to learn more about Juneteenth, remember that our Black/African American students, partners, staff, and faculty should not be asked to hold the history and explain Juneteenth. All should be given the space to reflect and celebrate however they can.
Princeton RISE Resource Guide
Recent events such as the COVID-19 pandemic and police violence have placed a spotlight on the ever-present racial inequities in our communities and world. As we work to combat persistent acts of systemic racism, we have to first learn about these systems - where they come from and how they currently manifest. The Princeton RISE Resource Guide provides an accessible framework for learning about systemic racism and reflecting on actions we can take as individuals to build an equitable and just world. Each module contains foundational information, links to a variety of resources, and a set of reflection questions which can be completed individually or in small groups.
- Historical Context
- The Power of Community
- Navigating Power and Privilege
- Cultivating Empathy
- Being an Ally, Advocate, and Accomplice
Created and curated by Shirley Satterfield, a lifelong resident of the town of Princeton and dedicated educator, in collaboration with the Historical Society of Princeton, the Albert E. Hinds Memorial Walking Tour offers listeners a guided tour of the African American experience in Princeton, NJ.
- Princeton Department of African American Studies: "Juneteenth: Past, Present, and Future"
- Throughline (NPR): James Baldwin's Fire
- Planet Money (NPR): Black Wall Street
- United States of Anxiety (WNYC): Juneteenth, An Unfinished Business
- The Daily Show, Ears Edition: Dulce Sloan Presents a Primer on Juneteenth
In service and civic engagement, reflection allows us to evaluate our experiences, acknowledge our thoughts and feelings, recognize learnings, and embrace areas for growth. The Field Guide to Service's Purposeful Processing activity offers a four-part approach to reflect:
- When will I set aside time for reflection?
- What type of environment do I need to be able to reflect?
- What does Juneteenth mean to me?
- How did I feel before Juneteenth? How do I feel now?
- How does Juneteenth align with my values?
- What can I do moving forward?
- Who can I connect with about my experience?
- How will I share with others?
Princetonians of Color Network Juneteenth BBQ
Thursday, June 16, 12-2 p.m., Carl A. Fields Center multipurpose room and lawn, 58 Prospect Avenue
In celebration of Juneteenth, all Princeton University employees are welcome to join the Princetonians of Color Network to celebrate. Participants are asked to bring a children’s book that promotes diversity and inclusion. Students from SproutU School of the Arts will perform at the Living Museum, and music and food will be available at Morgan’s Island Grill.
Juneteenth Weekend Celebration
Friday, June 17 and Saturday, June 18
Planned by the African American Cultural Collaborative of Mercer County (AACCofMC) in partnership with the NJ Legislative District 15 (Senator Shirley Turner, Assemblywoman Verlina Reynolds Jackson and Assemblyman Anthony Verrelli) and Outdoor Equity Alliance, the purpose of this carefully planned and socially distanced event is to highlight a few very poignant and current issues through displays of culture, collaboration, commerce, unity and education in the city of Trenton, NJ.
Juneteenth New York
Friday, June 17 through Sunday, June 19
The 13th Annual Juneteenth family fun day in Brooklyn, NY gathers 5,000+ attendees locally to the New York City community to enjoy a vibrant day of rich culture through music, dance, poetry, skits, history, vendors, and fun. This is a three-day day festival starting on June 17 and running through June 19, 2022.
Mercer County Area Juneteenth Black Business Expo
Saturday, June 18, 10 a.m.-3 p.m., Robert Wood Johnson Conference Center, 3100 Quakerbridge Road, Hamilton Township, NJ
Free and open to the public, this event is organized by the NJ Small Business Development Center at The College of New Jersey, Mercer County Office of Economic Development, and Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital - Hamilton RWJ Barnabas Health (Hamilton) to provide diverse people from all backgrounds the opportunity to experience and learn about Black-owned businesses in the Mercer County area, as well as discover the hidden jewels in the community.
Philadelphia Juneteenth Parade and Festival
Sunday, June 19, 10 a.m.-8 p.m.
Launched locally in 2016, the annual Philadelphia Juneteenth Parade and Festival has grown into a daylong event. This year, attendees can head to West Philadelphia for a parade beginning at 52nd Street and Parkside Avenue, including nonprofits, dance groups, schools, floats, bands and more. The celebration continues at Malcolm X Park with local merchants, food vendors, art exhibits and Covid-19 testing and vaccination.
Sunday, June 19, 12-5 p.m., Greenway Meadow Park, Princeton, NJ
This community event is free and open to the public. More information and sign up link.
Virtual Documentary Night
Sunday, June 26, 7-9 p.m. (EST)
Pace Center student organization Students for Prison Education, Abolition, and Reform (SPEAR) and Community Documentary Night are collaborating in honor of Juneteenth to discuss the documentary "True Justice: Bryant Stevenson's Fight for Equality." First watch the film on your own, then join SPEAR on Zoom for small group discussions about the film.
Attendees must RSVP to receive the Zoom link.