Celebrating Juneteenth

The Law School community recognizes hard-fought civil rights victories and the ongoing fight for racial justice.

Flag for Juneteenth showing a purple and red stripe and white star inside of a starburst.

Juneteenth, held every year on June 19, commemorates the end of slavery in the United States. The day is “an opportunity to recognize where we have come from and where we need to go to realize the just society we seek, but have not attained,” said Columbia University President Lee C. Bollinger ’71 in a message to the community announcing that Juneteenth would be a university holiday for all students, faculty, and staff.

Below, explore some of the ways in which Columbians are observing the day and continuing the long-standing fight for racial justice.

Portraits of nine members of the Columbia University community

Why Do We Celebrate Juneteenth? Columbians Share the History and How They Observe the Day

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Five Columbia Law professors standing in front of a blue backdrop with the words Columbia Law School repeated many times

The Legacy of 1619: Columbia Law Explores the Impact of Slavery on the American Legal System

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Inaugural Anti-Racism Grant Recipients and Racial and Social Justice Fellows

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Book cover of Repair: Redeeming the Promise of Abolition, featuring a Black woman next to a small cabin.

Katherine Franke: We Must Repair the Intergenerational Damage of Enslavement

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Woman in orange dress, pearls and gray jacket

Five Questions on New Voting Laws for Civil Rights Lawyer Judith Browne Dianis ’92

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Photos of Lisa White Hardwick and Maya Wiley ’89

BLSA Reimagines Justice at the 27th Annual Paul Robeson Conference and Gala

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Headshot of Ashley Taylor ’21

Student Spotlight: Ashley Taylor ’21 on Advocacy and the Transformative Power of Law

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Cover of the book Critical Race Theory: The Key Writings That Formed the Movement

Faculty Publication: “Critical Race Theory: The Key Writings That Formed the Movement”

By Kimberlé W. Crenshaw, Columbia Law School; Neil Gotanda, Western State College of Law; Gary Peller, Georgetown University Law Center; and Kendall Thomas, Columbia Law School

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Kendall Thomas

“What Juneteenth teaches us is that history matters, memory matters, and that understanding the legacy of racism and the continuing impact of racism’s legacy in the present is crucial to building a better future and a more perfect union. . . . Juneteenth, I think, embodies the highest and best aspirations of what it means to be American.”

Professor Kendall Thomas to Spectrum News NY1