Penn State President Eric J. Barron shares Juneteenth message

June 18, 2020

Dear Penn State Community:

Today, as many of you know, is Juneteenth -- a day that not only commemorates the end of slavery throughout the United States, but also a day that has been designated for awareness and education on race issues, past and present, as well as a time to reflect and recommit to our values -- as individuals, as an institution, as a nation and as a society -- of inclusion, equality and justice.

June 19, also called Emancipation Day, was designated in 2019 in Pennsylvania as Juneteenth National Freedom Day, allowing the Commonwealth to join 48 other states in recognizing it as a state holiday or special observance day.

Though most Penn State students are not in class for the summer, and even as social distancing continues for much of the University’s workforce, members of the Penn State community across the commonwealth continue to engage in dialogue about recent events, Black Lives Matter, racism, intolerance, and what it truly means to be a welcoming community. Our University Libraries has compiled a listing of resources, including books, articles, films, artifacts and more, available to our community to support awareness and learning on these critical topics.

I hope that all of us can take the time today to consider what role we each can play to further the goals of diversity, equity and opportunity for all, and perhaps participate in some aspect of the recently announced initiatives aimed at fighting ignorance and intolerance, and modeling inclusivity in our communities.

As you embrace this day of education and reflection, I look forward to what I hope will be numerous informed and engaged future conversations with all of you.

Thank you.

Eric J. Barron


Last Updated June 30, 2020