Juneteenth Day


Juneteenth Day

In 2021, Juneteenth Day became a federally recognized national holiday. On June 19, 1865, enslaved Americans in Galveston, Texas received word that they were finally free, despite President Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation two years prior. Today, we continue to celebrate this momentous day in not only commemorating African American freedom, but also in uplifting Black educators, scholars, artists, and communities. (source: juneteenth.com)

2023 Events

Juneteenth Celebrates Freedom! 
Tuesday, June 20, 2023 from 10:00 a.m to 12:00 p.m. Pacific Time

The SJSU iSchool hosted its Juneteenth symposium featuring Binnie Tate Wilkin, library services consultant and professional storyteller; and Vogue M. Robinson, poet laureate of Clark County, Nevada (2017 - 2019). The event featured stories and poems by our keynote speakers and also included student panelists as part of the conversation.

For more on this event, see our recap here.

Transcript here (PDFDOC).

Binnie Tate Wilkin Vogue M. Robinson
Imani Singleton Tina Fontenot

Past Symposia

EDI Symposium: Celebrating Juneteenth with Stories, Poems and Conversation

Celebrating Juneteenth with Stories, Poems and Conversation featuring Binnie Tate Wilkin, Professional Storyteller
Monday, June 20, 2022 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. Pacific Time

On June 20, 2022, the SJSU iSchool hosted a symposium in honor of Juneteenth Day, titled, “Celebrating Juneteenth with Stories, Poems and Conversation featuring Binnie Tate Wilkin, Professional Storyteller.” After opening up the event with a historical overview of Juneteenth Day and an explanation of why many people celebrate this day, Wilkin shared several retellings of folktales that have been passed down through African American families for generations. Following the main storytelling portion of the event was a short Q&A session.

Library and Information Science Best Practices

Best Practices from “Juneteenth Celebrates Freedom!”:

  • Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) needs to be put into action. It’s not enough to just talk about it, and that is especially true for institutions. 
  • Preserving history is important, but it’s even more important to ensure that we’re not just looking at history through one lens.
  • Find a mentor that you can go to, but also seek out ways that you can be a mentor for the next generation of LIS professionals. 
  • As library’s face increasing challenges about collections and DEI efforts, familiarize yourself with your organization’s policies. 
  • Start to build relationships with the people around you, because that’s how we, as LIS professionals, become stronger and more connected. 

Best Practices from “Celebrating Juneteenth with Stories, Poems and Conversation featuring Binnie Tate Wilkin, Professional Storyteller”:

  • Think about the ways in which language shapes our view of the world. For example, the use of “captives” or “enslaved people” as terms instead of “slaves.”
  • Advance one’s knowledge of Juneteenth Day. 
  • Recognize that Juneteenth Day is more than just a holiday. 
  • Create more space in libraries for black storytellers.

Community Profiles

Kara (K. René) Price

Marissa Arterberry

Professional Associations