I am pleased to announce that, starting in 2021, the College will observe an additional Floating Holiday, Juneteenth. Juneteenth will normally be observed on June 19, but because June 19, 2021 is a Saturday, the holiday will be observed on Friday June 18.
Juneteenth marks the day in 1865 that Union soldiers reached Galveston, Texas and announced to the state that the Civil War was over and that all enslaved persons had been declared free, over two years after President Lincoln had issued the Emancipation Proclamation.
This day marked the formal end of slavery in our country, but not the end of racism. Observation of this holiday offers us a moment to reflect on the resilience, solidarity and culture of the African American community. It serves as a reminder of the enduring struggle for equality and respect by people of color as well as an opportunity to consider the work that we must continue to do together to make our community and our country a place where all people are respected and treated fairly.
In addition, starting with the October 12, 2020 observation, the College will observe the Federal Holiday of Columbus Day as Indigenous People’s Day. Indigenous People’s Day will continue to be observed by the College as a traditional holiday.
Indigenous People’s Day celebrates and honors Native American peoples, their histories, contributions and cultures. It also serves as a reminder of the losses suffered by the Native American peoples and their cultures from diseases, warfare, massacres, and forced assimilation at the hands of colonialism and westward expansion. At Holy Cross, in particular, being built upon Pakachoag Hill, we have a responsibility to recognize and understand our own history and to honor those from the Nipmuc nation who are native to this land.
Human Resources will be following up with more information about the Holiday Schedule for the fiscal year. If you have any questions about the schedule, please contact Human Resources.
Philip L. Boroughs, S.J.