Georgia College Remembers Juneteenth: A Celebration of Freedom
“The Civil War ended formally with the April 9, 1865, surrender of Robert E. Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia at Appomattox. The demise of slavery was imminent. On June 19, 1865, enslaved men, women, and children in Texas learned of their emancipation when Union Maj. Gen. Gordon Granger arrived in Galveston and issued General Order Number 3. More than two hundred thousand Texans were affected by the order, which generated joyous responses immediately. More encompassing than General Order Number 3 was the Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution, ratified on December 6, 1865, which stated that neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as punishment for a convicted crime, shall exist in the United States.
[While there are other freedom-day celebrations in African American communities throughout the nation], “Juneteenth is perhaps the oldest continuous freedom celebration in the United States. Originally Juneteenth celebrations focused on political activities, but over time they became festive events, often including barbeques, music, games, fishing, and rodeos, while still allowing for reflection and remembrance. In 1979 the Texas legislature declared Juneteenth a state holiday. Juneteenth is celebrated throughout the country, largely because Texans have migrated to other states and taken their Juneteenth traditions with them. These anniversaries allow celebrants to define, revise, and retell the histories of emancipations, to recognize heroes, and to pass holiday traditions down to younger generations.”— Wilma King, Professor Emerita, University of Missouri, Columbia. In Juneteenth and Beyond: African American Emancipation Celebrations Since 1808, OAH Blog June 17, 2019.
Emancipation Day Celebration in Richmond, VA circa 1920s
Georgia College Diversity Statement
Georgia College recognizes that diversity and inclusion are essential to our core values of reason, respect, and responsibility. We strive to achieve diversity excellence in the composition of our community, our educational programs, university policies, research and scholarship, campus life, employment practices, extracurricular activities, and community-outreach. We also believe that a welcoming and inclusive environment is critical to attaining the kind of campus climate that allows members of our community to succeed in their endeavors, to be respected as individuals, and to feel a sense of belonging at Georgia College, and we support educational programs designed to achieve this kind of inclusive excellence. Our overarching goal is for Georgia College to achieve preeminence as a model for excellence in diversity and inclusion for our state, region, and the nation.
OIE Mission Statement
The Office of Inclusive Excellence seeks to provide education that informs, to support a culture that values, and to build an infrastructure that sustains a diverse, inclusive, and welcoming community at Georgia College.
OIE Vision Statement
The Office of Inclusive Excellence envisions a college community that is knowledgeable of historical and cultural issues impacting diversity and inclusion, committed to the inherent value of diversity and inclusion, and actively engaged in practices that demonstrate that knowledge and commitment.