Belonging at Yale – Recognizing Juneteenth

Campaign image–Belonging at Yale, Celebrate Juneteenth.

Recognizing Juneteenth

Juneteenth (short for “June Nineteenth”) is the oldest nationally celebrated commemoration of the ending of slavery in the United States. Learn about the history of Juneteenth and explore events, media, and other opportunities to educate ourselves and continue the fight for justice.

President Peter Salovey recently announced that Yale will be closed for a day of rememberance on June 20. Additional resources were also shared in Yale News article.

Community members may celebrate other cultural and religious observances in June, including Pride Month. Have we missed something? Please let us know.

Engagement Opportunities


Yale Center for British Art, Gift of Andrew Cavendish, eleventh Duke of Devonshireat home: Art in Context, New Light on a Portrait of Elihu Yale, his family, and an enslaved child, Yale Center for British Art
Watch Edward Town discuss an eighteenth-century group portrait depicting the university’s early benefactor Elihu Yale, members of his family, and an enslaved child. Additionally, explore other items related to slavery within the Yale Center for British Art’s collectionImage Credit: Yale Center for British Art

“Am I Not A Woman & A Sister” Anti-Slavery Hard Times Token

Anti-Slavery Tokens and other objects, Yale University Art Gallery
Within the Gallery’s collection of coins, paper currency, and medals lies a selection of Anti-Slavery tokens. Discover these and other objects related to slavery within the Yale University Art Gallery’s collectionImage Credit: Yale University Art Gallery

Sacred Earth: An Art Exhibit on Creation, Faith, and Human Responsibility, June 17-26, with an opening on June 17, 5-7 pm
Wtihin the nave of New Haven’s Trinity Church on the Green, visitors will have the opportunity to attend an art show opening followed by a performance of Ekklesia Ballet’s dance and poetry reading work titled “Body and Land.”

Books and Library Resources

Department of African American Studies - Faculty Publications and Productions 
Access a list of publications and productions developed by Yale Faculty, including Jonathan Holloway’s Jim Crow Wisdom: Memory and Identity in Black America Since 1940, Elijah Anderson’s Black in White Space: The Enduring Impact of Color on Everyday Life, David Blight’s Fredrick Douglass: Prophet of Freedom, and many others.

Image of a written letter in the Beinecke Library's Abraham Lincoln CollectionYale University Library
Yale University Library has an extensive collection of books, electronic resources, and special collections manuscripts related to Juneteenth across many different topics and disciplines. These materials may be found across the Yale Library system by searching the library’s catalog and archival collectionsImage Credit: Beinecke Library


Department of African American Studies
The African American Studies Department examines, from numerous disciplinary perspectives, the experiences of people of African descent in Black Atlantic societies, including the United States, the Caribbean, and Latin America.

Open Yale Courses (OYC)
OYC provides lectures and other materials from selected Yale College courses to the public free of charge via the Internet. The courses span the full range of liberal arts disciplines, including humanities, social sciences, and physical and biological sciences. Explore the following courses that include themes about slavery and emancipation:

  • African American History: From the Emancipation to the Present (2010)
    The purpose of this course is to examine the African American experience in the United States from 1863 to the present (2010). Prominent themes include the end of the Civil War and the beginning of Reconstruction; African Americans’ urbanization experiences; the development of the modern civil rights movement and its aftermath; and the thought and leadership of Booker T. Washington, Ida B. Wells-Barnett, W.E.B. Du Bois, Marcus Garvey, Martin Luther King Jr., and Malcolm X.
  • Creating a Constitution 
    Professor Freeman discusses the debate over the Constitution at the Federal Convention of 1787 - a convention that by no means had an inevitable outcome. Indeed, even attending the Convention at all was a subject of debate in the individual states; many people feared that the Convention would produce a pseudo-monarchical form of government that would abandon the true significance of the Revolution. Ostensibly called to revise the Articles of Confederation, the meeting ultimately produced an entirely new form of government, in part, thanks to the influence of James Madison’s “Virginia Plan” of government. Professor Freeman focuses on three subjects of debate among the many that occupied the Convention: the debates over representation, slavery, and the nature of the executive branch.
  • The Civil War and Reconstruction Era, 1845-1877
    This course explores the causes, course, and consequences of the American Civil War, from the 1840s to 1877. The primary goal of the course is to understand the multiple meanings of a transforming event in American history. Those meanings may be defined in many ways: national, sectional, racial, constitutional, individual, social, intellectual, or moral. Four broad themes are closely examined: the crisis of union and disunion in an expanding republic; slavery, race, and emancipation as national problem, personal experience, and social process; the experience of modern, total war for individuals and society; and the political and social challenges of Reconstruction.
  • Edward P. Jones, The Known World (cont.) 
    In this second lecture on The Known World, Professor Hungerford addresses Edward P. Jones’s ambitious and ambivalent relation to literacy. Jones shows us the power of narrative to bring together the fragmentation of the world, but is at the same time deeply aware of the fragility of text, all of the ways it can be destroyed, misinterpreted, abused, or lost. The son of an illiterate mother, Jones–who, it seems, composed and memorized large portions of The Known World before setting anything down in print–models a form of literary self-consciousness infused with the moral dilemmas of slavery and freedom that is unique among contemporary novels.

LinkedIn Learning
Explore free courses on LinkedIn Learning, including courses on diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging.


YAAA Book Club Discussion - On Juneteenth
Tuesday, June 14, noon - 1 pm
Join the Yale African American Affinity Group for a book club discussion of On Juneteenth by Annette Gordon-Reed. Weaving together American history, dramatic family chronicle, and searing episodes of memoir, Annette Gordon-Reed’s 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. 

We hold these truths…Declaration of Independence, Life of William Grimes, Declaration of Sentiments, and Frederick Douglass’s 1852 Oration
June 17-July 17, 2022
The Beinecke Library marks the 246th anniversary of the nation’s founding with a special display of vital documents of United States history from Yale Library special collections.

Kiyama Movement
June 17, noon -1 pm
Join the Yale African American Affinity Group as it explores the Kiyama Movement’s primary focus and purpose for black males. Founder and CEO Michael A. Jefferson Esq. will discuss the principles and 5 steps to creating a better society throughout the world starting with individual improvement.

Juneteenth New Haven! Revival of Cultural, Personal, and Social Wellness
Saturday, June 18, noon - 6:00 pm
The Office of Diversity and Inclusion is sponsoring their Sixth Annual Juneteenth Event at the CT Violence Intervention Program located at 230 Ashmun Street. The Harlem Renaissance is the inspiration of this year’s theme.

Image of drummers performing at the festivalJuneteenth 2022
Saturday, June 18 to Sunday, June 19
Participate in a series of Juneteenth events sponsored by the International Festival of Arts, including a performance by “Full Circle” (gospel singers and African dancers and drummers), Juneteenth Village, a Juneteenth bike ride, and more.

Juneteenth in the City! at Jazzy’s Cabaret
June 19, 11 am - 6:30 pm
Join The UPN & Urban Professionals from across New England for the CT’s Premier Brunch & Juneteenth Celebration event. Taking place Downtown New Haven at Jazzy’s Cabaret!

Juneteenth at Pardee-Morris House
June 19, noon - 2:30 pm with tours until 4 pm
As the New Haven Museum celebrates Juneteenth 2022, Dennis Culliton, the founder and executive director of the Witness Stones Project, will visit the Pardee-Morris House to inform visitors of the lives of Pink and Stepna, two enslaved individuals who are now memorialized with Witness Stones at the historic site, on Sunday, June 19, 2022, from 12 – 2:30 p.m. The historic site will remain open for free tours until 4 PM.

The Meaning of Juneteenth
June 21, noon -1 pm
In honor of Juneteenth this year, YAAA has invited Jeffrey A. Fletcher, owner and collector of the Ruby and Calvin Fletcher African American History Museum, to discuss the true meaning of Juneteenth through actual artifacts from the last 1800’s.

Sickle Cell in Connecticut
June 29, noon - 1pm
Join the Yale African American Affinity Group for a discussion with the President & CEO of Sickle Cell Disease Association of America/Michelle’s House about the history and updates of a disease that affects the black and brown communities globally.

Readings of the Declaration of Independence and Frederick Douglass’s 1852 Oration
July 5, 4-5:30 pm
To mark Independence Day 2022, the Beinecke Library will renew the tradition of public readings on the library mezzanine of the Declaration of Independence of July 4, 1776, and of the oration by Frederick Douglass given on July 5, 1852, in Rochester, New York, in which he asked: “What, to the American slave, is your Fourth of July?” These readings will be accompanied by an exhibition of the first editions of both works, providing an opportunity to consider how their powerful words were put on paper to be shared across and beyond the United States. Visit the Beinecke Library website for more information.

Films and Other Media

Belonging at Yale Juneteenth Resources
Secretary and Vice President for University Life Kimberly Goff-Crews shares learning resources to watch, listen to, and read. Some of the content was originally compiled by Webflow. The material will be familiar to some readers, new to others, and, it is hoped, inspiring to all. 

Organizations, Offices, and Centers of Engagement

Afro-American Cultural Center 
The Afro-American Cultural Center at Yale University (affectionately called “the House”) was established in the fall of 1969 after the rise of issues surrounding race and civil unrest at Yale and throughout the New Haven community. Due to the increased number of Black students and the rising social consciousness of the 1960s, Yale students rallied to create a space in which Black students and members of the community could convene for social and political means. 

Black Student Organizations
Learn about over 30 House Groups affiliated with the Afro-American Cultural Center.

The Gilder Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery, Resistance, and Abolition
The Gilder Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery, Resistance, and Abolition is part of the Whitney and Betty MacMillan Center for International and Area Studies at Yale University. Since its founding in 1998, the Gilder Lehrman Center has been dedicated to the investigation and dissemination of knowledge concerning slavery and its legacies across all borders and all time, from the distant past through the present day. Additional resources include:

Yale African American Affinity Group
The Yale African American Affinity Group (YAAA) strives to provide opportunities for staff to engage, build community and make connections at Yale and the broader New Haven community.

Yale Black Alumni Association (YBAA)
Founded in 2008, The Yale Black Alumni Association (YBAA) is an official shared interest group of the Association of Yale Alumni (AYA) run by dedicated, volunteer Yale alumni from around the country.

Yale School of Medicine Black Postdoctoral Association
The Yale School of Medicine Black Postdoctoral Association (YBPA) works to address the unique needs of postdoctoral fellows/associates from groups traditionally underrepresented in science.

  • “Slavery and its Legacies”: A podcast series featuring visiting scholars, activists, and others about their contributions to the understanding of slavery past and present and its ongoing role in the development of the modern world.
  • Recorded Events on YouTube: Visit the Center’s YouTube page for videos of recorded events.
  • Voices from the Archive: This website offers teachers and students primary sources, secondary resources, and pedagogical options designed to make our classrooms inquiry-based sites of exploration of the nature and wide and enduring legacy of slavery.

Office of Diversity and Inclusion
The Office of Diversity & Inclusion (ODI) collaborates with departments and individuals across the Yale campus to promote a respectful, accessible and inclusive community for all Yale employees.

Office of Institutional Equity and Accessibility
The Office of Institutional Equity and Accessibility (OIEA) is responsible for ensuring Yale’s commitment to equitable and inclusive working and learning environments. This includes administering Yale’s Policy Against Discrimination and Harassment.

The Program in Race, Ethnicity, and Migration (ER&M)
This program enables students to engage in the interdisciplinary and comparative study of forces that have created a multicultural, multiethnic, and multiracial world.

Social Media Channels

Additional Resources

A Proclamation on Juneteenth Day of Observance, 2021, The White House
This procolmation was written on June 18, 2021 by Joseph R. Biden Jr., and includes additional links to his remarks at the signing of the Juneteenth Independence Day Act, and more.

The Yale & Slavery Research Project
The Yale and Slavery Working Group (YSWG) is focused on a deep and thorough investigation of Yale’s historic involvement and associations with slavery and its aftermath. The findings will help build a clearer and more comprehensive history of Yale and contribute to the scholarship on slavery and abolition more broadly. 

Yale and Slavery Working Group
Meet the members of the Group and learn about their charge: to investigate Yale’s historic entanglements and associations with slavery, the slave trade, and abolition.