North Central College Commemorates Juneteenth

Juneteenth is a day that commemorates the end of slavery in the United States

Background Information

On June 19, 1865, Union General Gordon Granger led federal troops to Galveston, Texas, to announce that the Civil War had ended and that the enslaved were now free. The day has long been observed among the country’s Black community, though it is a history that has been marginalized and remains largely unknown to the broader public. The 13th Amendment, ratified December 6, 1865, ended slavery in the remaining slave states and permanently abolished slavery in the United States.

President Biden signed the Juneteenth National Independence Day Act on June 17, 2021, designating Juneteenth as a federal holiday. Biden stated,

“The truth is, it’s simply not enough just to commemorate Juneteenth. After all, the emancipation of enslaved Black Americans didn’t mark the end of America’s work to deliver on the promise of equality; it only marked the beginning.”

The legacy of Juneteenth highlights America’s unfulfilled promise of equality and the importance of our continued work to achieve equity and inclusion.

Juneteenth Resources

North Central College encourages members of the campus community to learn more about Juneteenth and its significance to our nation’s history by visiting the Oesterle Library Black Lives Matter Lib Guide. For further learning, you can read this piece by Henry Louis Gates Jr. and explore The National Museum of African American History & Culture Juneteenth website.


2023 Events

The Office of Multicultural Affairs encourages community members to spend the day learning more about the effects of slavery and racism in America, and supporting Black-owned businesses. Karl Constant and Dorothy Pleas from the Office of Multicultural Affairs have curated a list of events for learning and celebration at home or in the local area.


Friday, June 16

Bronzeville Art District Trolley Tour 2023
6 – 9 p.m.

Bronzeville, Chicago

Ride the double-decker bus that will take you to the five participating art galleries and art institutions in Bronzeville. Featuring some of the best fine art and entertainment in the city of Chicago. Free and Fun for the entire family!

Saturday, June 17

Naperville Neighbors United Juneteenth Freedom Day
Noon – 3 p.m.
Rotary Hill, Naperville

Naperville Neighbors United celebrates Juneteenth with the community. There will be music performances and inspirational speakers.

Juneteenth Jubilee
1 – 3 p.m.
Bronzeville Children's Museum, Chicago

Join the Bronzeville Children's Museum for their 21st anniversary celebration.

Sunday, June 18

Second Annual Juneteenth Village Fest: Celebrating Family and Freedom
Noon – 8 p.m.
Anna & Frederick Douglass Park, Chicago

Village Fest will feature musical performances by Angie Stone, Marsha Ambrosius, Talib Kweli, BJ The Chicago Kid, and Kindred and the Family Soul. Attendees can also enjoy local performers, food vendors, community-based organizations and resources, carnival rides, and activities for all ages.

Monday, June 19

A Virtual Conversation on Health Equity with Dr. Ngozi Ezike
9 – 10 a.m.
United Way of Metro Chicago (Online)

Dr. Ngozi Ezike is the first Black woman president and CEO of Sinai Chicago hospital system and immediate past director of the Illinois Department of Public Health, where she helped the entire state navigate COVID-19.

The Juneteenth BBQ & Block Party
10 a.m. – 8 p.m.

The DuSable Black History Museum and Education Center, Chicago

The DuSable Black History Museum will have activities for the family, music performances, food & drink. The DuSable Museum is also proud to announce a Hip-Hop Communiversity discussion session featuring renowned hip-hop legend Kool Moe Dee as we also commemorate the 50th anniversary of hip-hop.

Juneteenth South Side Tour with Shermann “Dilla” Thomas
Noon – 2 p.m.

South Side Cultural Center, Chicago

Take a ride with Chicago’s own urban historian, Sherman “Dilla” Thomas! This Juneteenth-themed edition of his bus tour will depart from the South Side Cultural Center for a two-hour adventure highlighting the historical context of different landmarks and neighborhoods. In the Juneteenth spirit of fellowship, participants can look forward to a beach party at the tour’s close.

Thank You Chicago Juneteenth Market
2 – 7 p.m.

The Promontory, Chicago

The Juneteenth Market is a pop-up market celebrating black businesses in Chicago. The marketplace will feature various businesses and industries from beauty to fashion. Food vendors will be on site.


Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at North Central College

You’ll see our beliefs in action through everyday conversations and interactions both in class and around campus. We also offer a range of programs and resources that celebrate diversity, foster understanding and expand cultural experiences; for more information about them, please visit the Office of Multicultural Affairs.

Mural in the Office of Multicultural Affairs