Bemidji State Campus Diversity Officer Explains the Juneteenth Freedom Day

In celebration of Juneteenth’s first anniversary as a federal holiday, Bemidji State University and Northwest Technical College’s Steven D. Parker, campus diversity officer and Title IX coordinator, discussed the history and meaning behind the freedom day with the Office of Communications and Marketing.

Under Juneteenth National Independence Day Act, which was passed on June 17, 2021, June 19 is now recognized as an annual public holiday.

“June 19 of 2021 was when Juneteenth was officially recognized, so this is our anniversary,” he said. “This is a momentous time in our history, but annually, for us to come together and celebrate. Celebrate the true stories of our nation as it relates to the true emancipation – or freedom day – of black humans that were enslaved.”

On June 19, Bemidji’s Project For Change will host a Juneteenth celebration from 2-5 p.m. Registration is required and specific location details will be sent out Saturday evening. Bemidji State University and Northwest Technical College will be closed in observance of Juneteenth.

Juneteenth Resources

  1. The White House Proclamation of Juneteenth
  2. U.S. Department of State Commemoration of Juneteenth
  3. Juneteenth National Independence Day Act
  4. The history behind Juneteenth and why it resonates today
  5. Minnesota Historical Society Black History and Voices