A special day that commemorates the emancipation of enslaved Black people in Texas nearly two years after the Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863 and the end of slavery in the United States, Juneteenth offers an opportunity to celebrate that liberation while recognizing that the struggle for racial equity is ongoing, and we all have work to do. 

From events and lectures to essays and books by TC faculty, this guide will help transform your Juneteenth into a day of celebration and learning.


  • TC’s annual Juneteenth Celebration, hosted by the Office of the Vice president for Diversity and Community Affairs, will mark Freedom Day with a festive community gathering featuring music, food and fun giveaways. 
  • The 14th Annual Juneteenth Summit invites all of New York City to a three-day festival featuring community impact awards, performances and more.
  • “Covering Democracy: Protests, police, and the press,” hosted by Columbia Law School and CUNY, will explore the intersection of journalism with the social justice protests of June 2020.
  • A Juneteenth Bus Tour, co-hosted by the Staff Advocacy & Support Council and the Vice President  for Diversity and Community Affairs, explains the significance of several historic Black towns and neighborhoods in New York City.

More Ways to Learn 

  • Watch Chris Emdin’s spoken-word essay about the meaning of Juneteenth for the Smithsonian Channel. The visionary behind the popular Hip-Hop Education movement, Emdin is on the faculty at both Teachers College and the University of Southern California, where he also serves as the Director of Youth Engagement and Community Partnerships at the USC Race and Equity Center.
  • Dive into why the history and meaning of Juneteenth should be taught in schools with Sonya Douglass, Professor of Education Leadership, who discussed the issue at length with Education Week last year.

It’s important to underscore that we are in a pivotal moment in U.S. education and history. While we are witnessing a lot of conflict, I do think it’s the beginning of a new wave in education that is going to be more conscious and inclusive, and that will better prepare young people to be productive and contributing members of a functioning democracy.

Sonya Douglass, Professor of Education Leadership
  • Do the work by using free professional development resources on Black Studies curriculum from the Black Education Research Center, also led by Douglass. The Center is currently developing an interdisciplinary K-12 Black studies curriculum for New York City Public Schools.