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Juneteenth becomes official University holiday

Jon Ort / The Daily Princetonian
Jon Ort / The Daily Princetonian

Juneteenth will now be an official University holiday, according to a May 13 memo sent to faculty and staff by Vice President for Human Resources Lianne Sullivan-Crowley.

The holiday was first recognized at Princeton in 2020, when the University made Juneteenth a paid day off for all faculty and staff.

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Juneteenth, which is celebrated annually on June 19, is the oldest nationally celebrated commemoration of the ending of slavery in the United States. It will join seven other holidays — Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s Day, Martin Luther King Jr. Day, and Memorial Day — in being recognized by the University.

“This is one of many steps the University is taking to make Princeton a more welcoming and supportive community for everyone,” Sullivan-Crowley wrote.

The holiday is intended to “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,” according to the memo.

The memo states that “staff members categorized as essential services staff who are required to work on holidays” will receive holiday pay for hours worked, per union contracts. Nonunionized employees who must work on the holiday may request another day off.

Because June 19 falls on a Saturday in 2021, this year the holiday will be observed by the University on Friday, June 18.

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