Juneteenth Now an Official University Holiday

May 13, 2021

On May 13, Vice President for Human Resources Lianne Sullivan-Crowley emailed all staff and with the following update about Juneteenth:

Following last year’s decision to observe Juneteenth — the oldest nationally celebrated commemoration of the ending of slavery in the United States — the University has moved to observe Juneteenth annually as an official University holiday beginning this year. This is one of many steps the University is taking to make Princeton a more welcoming and supportive community for everyone.

Juneteenth is June 19, which falls on a Saturday in 2021, so the University will observe the holiday on Friday, June 18 this year. The University will offer all faculty and staff a day off every year to recognize the significance of Juneteenth, and to provide time to contemplate how we can do our part to eliminate structural and overt racism and other forms of discrimination on our campus, in our communities, and in our country. Staff members categorized as essential services staff who are required to work on holidays will receive holiday pay for hours worked as aligned with Union contracts. As an alternative to holiday pay, nonunionized employees who must work on the holiday may request another day off. As with all official University holidays, classes will not meet. To view the University’s three-year holiday schedule, visit the Holiday Schedules webpage.

The creation of the Juneteenth holiday is one of many initiatives underway at Princeton to support racial equity. Information about those commitments can be found in the story on the University’s website, and on the website dedicated to racial equity at Princeton. We encourage each of you to be an active participant in this important work. Please refer to the Office of Institutional Equity and Diversity or the Office of Human Resources for additional information.

The University is sponsoring distribution and programming for On Juneteenth, a book by Annette Gordon-Reed that provides a personal perspective on America’s history of racism. More details about the book distribution will be announced soon.