The UCLA Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Equity joins the University of California in lauding the declaration of Juneteenth as a federal holiday.  We will join the University of California in observing Juneteenth on Monday, June 28th this year. Below we include the statement released by UC President Dr. Michael Drake on June 18, 2021, as well as resources shared by Fielding School of Public Health Dean, Dr. Ronald Brookmeyer.

Dear colleagues:

Yesterday President Biden declared a federal holiday for Juneteenth, the day that celebrates and commemorates the end of slavery in the United States. This is an historic moment for our nation — 156 years in the making.

Celebrated on the 19th of June, Juneteenth, also known as Jubilee Day, Liberation Day and Freedom Day, marks the day in 1865 that enslaved people in Texas learned they were free. This news was delivered two and a half years after President Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation became law.

I intend to immediately add this to the University of California’s calendar of holidays. This year we will observe this holiday on Monday, June 28th. Starting in 2022, we will celebrate the Juneteenth holiday according to the federal calendar.

As we approach June 19th, I invite you to join me in reflecting on our nation’s history, the horrors of centuries of bondage, and the difficult road from liberation to equality. Let us resolve to build a future representing and lifted up by our ideals, our values, and our best selves.

Fiat Lux,

Michael V. Drake, M.D.


Juneteenth Resources provides information on African American history and the history of more than one billion people of African ancestry around the world.

In the article, Juneteenth: The Growth of an African American Holiday, UW Professor Emeritus and historian Dr. Quintard Taylor describe the origins and evolution of the Juneteenth holiday since 1865.

In Juneteenth: A Primer, author Mitchell S. Jackson provides compelling historical context for Juneteenth celebrations and a call for federal recognition of the day.

The Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of African American History and Culture offers a wealth of information about the history and significance of Juneteenth. Start here:

Those looking for book choices, including books for kids, may find the following curated lists helpful:

Local Juneteenth Celebrations:

Los Angeles and Orange County


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