Pamela Whitten: Juneteenth will be paid holiday at IU starting in 2022

Indiana University president Pamela Whitten announced via e-mail Tuesday that Juneteenth will be a paid holiday for IU employees beginning in 2022. 

Here is the text of the message: 

“Let’s begin a new IU tradition with an official celebration of Juneteenth

We’re in the midst of a holiday season inspired by generations of  celebrations and traditions. It’s wonderful to bask in these special  moments we share with family and friends and appreciate what they mean  to us individually and collectively. 

As we celebrate during this winter holiday season, I want us all to look  forward to a holiday celebration we will officially begin in 2022:  Juneteenth. 

In the new year, we’ll recognize June 19 together, for the first time,  as a university community and honor the oldest nationally celebrated  commemoration of the end of enslavement in the United States. 

Taking time to reflect and engage in the long-standing traditions of  Juneteenth is an opportunity to acknowledge our past, fully engage in  our present, and look forward with hope and optimism together. It also  serves as a reminder of our university’s dedication  to diversity, equity, and inclusion, as well as our ongoing efforts to  make our campuses welcoming, supportive, and safe spaces for everyone. 

Indiana University will recognize this important day of freedom and  independence annually, and for the first time on Monday, June 20, IU  offices will be closed. This will be a paid university holiday for our  faculty and staff. 

I’m looking forward to starting this new tradition for our Indiana  University family with you next year with the hope that we are all  inspired by the meaning and significance of Juneteenth.                                       Pamela Whitten   President, Indiana University”

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