University System of Maryland employees will receive administrative leave ahead of Juneteenth this year, USM chancellor Jay A. Perman announced Wednesday morning.
Juneteenth falls on Saturday, June 19 this year, and all USM institutions will observe the holiday on June 18. The system will recognize Juneteenth as a holiday going forward, Perman wrote.
Juneteenth marks the end of slavery in the United States, two and a half years after President Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation.
“I hope the hours of reflection this day provides can help us gather strength for what lies ahead,” Perman wrote in Wednesday’s announcement.
All summer session classes at the University of Maryland will also be canceled on June 18, university President Darryll Pines wrote in a campuswide email.
“Let’s use this time to reflect on both our history and recent events, and how we continue to work to eradicate anti-Black racism — and racism in all its forms — together,” Pines wrote.