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Juneteenth is a widely celebrated holiday amongst the African American community as Jubilee Day, Liberation Day, and Emancipation Day. Its origins stem from General Order 3, when on June 19, 1866, the union army proclaimed freedom of slaves in Texas. Although slavery was outlawed in 1862 by President Lincoln, it continued in many parts of the country. Enforcement of the proclamation relied on the ability and speed of Union Troops to reach remote parts of the South.  

Now that Juneteenth has been officially recognized as a federal holiday, it’s important that the greater community recognizes, reflects, and restores by learning the history, engaging in self-reflection, and working to break down systemic racism that has long oppressed the black community.

There is a lot more work to be done, but everything has a start. Here some ways that you can begin:


Learn more about Juneteenth by exploring the National Museum of African American History and Culture, reading an article explaining What is Juneteenth?, and checking out the Juneteenth Foundation.

Visit a local History Museum that focuses on black history or visit one virtually like the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington D.C. You can find a list here of all of the African American museums around the country.


Take some time to reflect on current racial injustices and how they specifically relate to international education (books, articles, videos, podcasts, films, etc.) Not sure where to start? Check out our TODOS Sounding Board Resource Library and/or join us for our TODOS Sounding Board webinar series later this fall entitled “We Are All Biased, Now What? Collaborative Approaches to Facing and Combating Our Unconscious Biases.”

History is so important to contextualize what’s happening today. Reflect on your own personal journey and ask yourself: What actions I have personally taken to educate myself and disrupt current-day racial inequity and systemic racism? 


Do your part to restore by supporting black-owned businesses…today and every day. Depending on your needs, use one of these black-owned business directories to be more knowledgeable of what’s available to you and your community. 

Barcelona SAE is a proud member of Diversity Abroad. Diversity Abroad has a number of resources available to you and your institution to help with facilitating conversation, practice, and action. 

Finally, support events in honor of Juneteenth. There are hundreds of events planned across the country, so check to see what’s going on in your area.

Here at Barcelona SAE, we hope you will join us in reflecting on where our country and fellow Americans have been, where we currently are at in this journey, and where we can go from here. There’s still so much work to be done.

Christina Thompson

Currently based in North Carolina, Christina is the Director of Partnership Development & Diversity Initiatives for Barcelona SAE.

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