A Message from the President

Juneteenth Designated Official Holiday by USM

April 16, 2021

Last year Bowie State University and several other institutions in the University System of Maryland observed Juneteenth to commemorate the end of slavery in the United States on June 19, 1865. I am pleased to announce that USM Chancellor Jay A. Perman has established Juneteenth as an official holiday for all USM institutions going forward, recognizing the continuing fight for freedom and justice.

Juneteenth this year will be observed on Friday, June 18, as the holiday occurs on a Saturday. All employees will be granted administrative leave providing time for reflection and celebration of the rich history and resilience of African Americans in this country.

Since the Emancipation Proclamation, advances in achieving racial equity have faced repeated challenges, yet significant progress has been made. Power at the ballot box has led to diversity in government, and access to education has opened doors to greater opportunity. But the work is not finished. Today’s push for social justice in policing, access to health care, food insecurity and other systemic disparities in Black and Brown communities provides opportunities for each of us to step up to advocate for the change that remains undone.

As we celebrate Juneteenth, let us be inspired to engage one another across the BSU community and embrace the value that difference in race, culture and ideas add to the rich fabric of our campus. Let our actions, individually and collectively, give voice to the change we want to see in our communities and across the country.