Northeastern students serving other students food

Northeast College of Health Sciences held a week-long celebration honoring Juneteenth, the oldest known commemoration of the end of slavery in the United States. 

Throughout the week, the College's Office of Student Engagement provided a variety of ways to observe the historical day, including sharing educational resources and facts about Black history and culture via social media and on bulletin boards. These spaces also provided a place for students to express themselves by sharing their sources of inspiration.

Office of Student Engagement student employee Marwah Muhammad (D.C. '23) researched Black stories and compiled quotes from influential Black leaders, including Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King Jr., to create the bulletin boards. "It's important that people understand this history so we can build and grow from there," Muhammad said.

Coming together

The week also included a College-wide BBQ picnic honoring Juneteenth traditions. Students, faculty and staff gathered in the campus Atrium for a shared meal of BBQ beef, corn, tossed salad and strawberry shortcake for dessert. Menu items were inspired by foods often associated with Juneteenth celebrations. The Students for Social Diversity Awareness club at Northeast partnered with the Office of Student Engagement to make this event a success.

"I was really happy how the BBQ turned out," said Muhammad. “That’s what it’s really about; connecting with people, bringing people together, celebrating freedom, and honoring the resilience of the people who were treated so unfairly.”

"We are excited that we could host an opportunity for our whole community to come together to celebrate unity, cultural understanding, and all that Juneteenth represents," said Carol Faivre, executive director of the Office of Student Engagement.

Learning our history

Also called Emancipation Day, Juneteenth is celebrated on June 19. On this day in 1865, General Gordon Granger arrived in Galveston, Texas, with U.S. federal troops to enforce General Order No. 3, which stated: "The people of Texas are informed that in accordance with a Proclamation from the Executive of the United States, all slaves are free."

"Only through acknowledging and understanding our nation's past can we commit ourselves to doing the work needed for a better, more just future for us all," said Northeast College President Dr. Michael Mestan. "As we celebrate this important holiday of remembrance together, I encourage all of us to also spend time in reflection about the systemic injustices that our society still faces today."

Juneteenth officially became a federal holiday in the United States this year. 

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