June 19, a date that has become a symbol of the emancipation of slaves in the United States, continues to gain national recognition. Juneteenth originated in Texas, commemorating June 19, 1865, when African Americans in Galveston learned belatedly of the Emancipation Proclamation, which had been signed more than two years before. We encourage you to learn about the history and significance of this holiday. Beginning next year, Lafayette will officially celebrate June 19 as a College holiday. We hope that today and in the future Juneteenth serves as a reminder of the continued efforts needed to eliminate racial inequality in our country and in our community.