UC San Diego presents four-day celebration of Juneteenth this week

A Juneteenth barbecue sets up at Kellogg Park in La Jolla Shores in 2022.
(Elisabeth Frausto)

The activities begin Sunday, June 18, in downtown San Diego. Other events will be at the university’s campus in La Jolla.


To commemorate Juneteenth, UC San Diego is presenting a four-day celebration of art and music, with most of the events at the university’s campus in La Jolla.

Activities kick off from noon to 7 p.m. Sunday, June 18, with a free festival at UCSD Park & Market in downtown San Diego with complimentary food and drinks, live music, Black-owned business markets and panel discussions exploring the meaning of liberation in the 21st century.

Juneteenth, which is celebrated annually on June 19, commemorates the end of slavery in the United States. It marks the day in 1865 when Union Army Gen. Gordon Granger arrived in Galveston, Texas, to announce that the last of the enslaved people in the Confederacy were free. The news came more than two years after President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation.

Day 2 of UCSD’s celebration will feature a free event from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. Monday, June 19, at the Epstein Family Amphitheater on campus showcasing the evolution of Black music and the cultural traditions it carries.

On Day 3, Tuesday, June 20, the third annual Juneteenth Celebration and Black Excellence Awards will be presented by the UCSD Black Staff Association from 2 to 4 p.m. in the campus’s Price Center East Ballroom. The event honors the traditions of Black culture and the works of award recipients. This year’s theme is “Hip Hop, Liberation and Kujichagulia,” focusing on education, signature dishes and the historical relevance of soulful music.

The celebration will conclude Wednesday, June 21, with a symposium and workshop. The symposium will run from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at The Forum in Price Center East. It is aimed at starting conversations on how to enhance the Black student experience at UCSD. Keynote speaker Stephen Quaye, a professor at Ohio State University, will facilitate a workshop centered on ways to support Black students.

“Juneteenth is an important recognition of a pivotal moment in our nation’s history,” UCSD Chancellor Pradeep Khosla said. “It offers all of us the opportunity to come together to acknowledge and honor the diverse lived experiences of the Black community. It also is a time to reaffirm our collective commitment to actively combating racism and discrimination on our campus and beyond.”

For more information about UCSD’s Juneteenth events, visit ◆