Celebrating Juneteenth

Juneteenth - Freedom Day - June 19

On June 8, 2023, Governor Joe Lombardo signed A.B. 140 into law. This legislation included Juneteenth in the list of legal holidays in Nevada. Effective immediately, Juneteenth will be observed on June 19 of each year as a legal state holiday for the State of Nevada. If June 19 falls on a Sunday, the Monday following will be observed as the legal Juneteenth holiday. If June 19 falls on a Saturday, the Friday preceding will be observed as the legal Juneteenth holiday.   Since A.B. 140 was effective upon passage and approval, the Juneteenth holiday will be recognized this month on Monday, June 19, 2023. Therefore, University of Nevada, Reno offices will be closed and no classes will be held this day.

NRAP is proud to join the University and other State of Nevada agencies in observing this significant date. It was on June 19, 1865, that Union Army Major General Gordon Granger arrived in Galveston, Texas with the news that the Civil War had ended and that those who were enslaved were now free. Granger’s news came more than two months after Confederate troops had surrendered to Union General Ulysses S. Grant in Virginia. Granger delivered General Order No. 3, which said: “The people of Texas are informed that, in accordance with a proclamation from the Executive of the United States, all slaves are free. This involves an absolute equality of personal rights and rights of property between former masters and slaves, and the connection heretofore existing between them becomes that between employer and hired labor.” Since then, the observance of Juneteenth has continued throughout the nation and around the world. With the passage of A.B. 140, the State of Nevada now marks this important date in our history with a legal holiday.

Here are a few ways you can celebrate this important holiday:

  1. Watch this informative new video posted by the University’s Office of Diversity and Inclusion as part of its “Dialogue, Equity and Democracy Series” in observance of Juneteenth.
  2. Read this NSights blog post written by Escenthio Marigny, Jr., the Coordinator of Public Humanities in the Department of Gender, Race and Identity. 
  3. Attend a Juneteenth Event. Here are a few happening in Reno:

Saturday, June 17: Nevada African American Firefighter Museum (301 Kennedy Dr., Reno — 11 a.m.-3 p.m.)
The Northern Nevada African American Firefighter Museum, housed in the historic Black Springs Volunteer Fire Department building, is open every Saturday from 11 to 3. Our Story co-founder Ken Dalton, who worked to establish the museum, was among the first paid Black firefighters in the area. For details, visit ourstoryinc.com.

Sunday, June 18: Reno Juneteenth Celebration (Idlewild Park, 1900 Idlewild Dr., Reno – 11 a.m.-7 p.m.)
The Northern Nevada Black Cultural Awareness Society will host the city’s official Juneteenth commemoration. The full day of celebration will include live entertainment, food and games. For details, visit the NNBCAS Facebook page.

Monday, June 19: Monday Night Poetry (Shim’s Surplus Supplies, 125 W. 3rd St., Reno – Doors at 5 p.m., mic open at 7:30 p.m.)
Downtown Reno’s speakeasy bar, in conjunction with Spoken Views Collective and Black Wall Street Reno, will host an evening of poetry, with set performances by Gregory Joseph Belle Jr., Jesse James Ziegler, Romar Tolliver and Donald Griffin. For details, visit the Shim’s Surplus Supplies page on Facebook.