Celebrating Juneteenth 2024

by the Division of Mission Culture and Inclusive Community

Dear Beloved Community,

Naropa proudly joins hands with the Black community and our entire nation in celebrating Juneteenth.  Naropa will close our doors on Monday June 17th, 2024, so that we can walk together in honoring liberation and freedom. This is a day of remembrance, a time to reflect, a time to make reparations, and to recommit to the work of justice, equity, and inclusion.  

Naropa stands with the millions of Americans who since June 19th, 1865, celebrated Juneteenth, a day of freedom, a step towards reconciliation, and liberation. On January 1st, 1863, in the thralls of Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln announced the Emancipation Proclamation, officially ending slavery in the United States.  It would take two and half years for news of the Proclamation to find its way to the furthest western realms of the nation in Galveston, Texas officially ending servitude of African Americans, celebrated in Black communities as Juneteenth ever since.  However, it wasn’t until June 2021, when President Joseph Biden finally announced Juneteenth, as America’s newest national holiday.   

While Juneteenth National Independence Day is now a reality in the U.S., systemic racial inequities abound including voter suppression, healthcare disparities, mass incarceration, and attacks against Critical Race Theory in public education and elsewhere. There is still much work to be done.  

The purpose of Juneteenth National Independence Day amplifies and expands the liberatory arc of the Black experience throughout the nation so that we all can take a moment together to reflect on the freedom from suffering and the joys of being free, the responsibilities that come with being free, and the ways we protect each other from future enslavement, including mass incarceration. 

Joy is an act of resistance, and in celebrating Juneteenth we are choosing to continue the fight for liberation as a community. This holiday is an opportunity to reflect on the collective journey that America has undergone as a nation built off the shackles of oppression and slavery.  Even though slavery has ended, the infrastructures in which this country was born continue to cause oppression, systematic racism and discrimination. 

On Juneteenth, we shift our mentality from hyper individuality, into communal interdependence. We become proactive as members of society through claiming responsibility for the collective wellbeing of all. We can become conscious of our social locations, our privileges, our biases and our internalized forms of oppression and participate in liberation of humanity. In collective awareness, we can move towards a more equitable future. A future that begins with the self and leads with community. 

Naropa is building a future filled with students of every color, race and ethnicity, to align with their ancestral lineages and dream into a new epoch of possibility. The liberation philosophy of Afro and Ethno-Futures is holding ground and taking firm claim at Naropa, and not just during Black History month but throughout the year. In establishing the Division of Mission Culture and Inclusive Community during the summer of 2020, Naropa remains steadfast in our commitment to the Global Majority.  We now have year-round staffing, programing, and restorative practices dedicated to fostering the development of JEDI (Justice Equity Diversity Inclusion) values for all our students, staff, and faculty.  

Ways to celebrate Juneteenth this year:  

Boulder Juneteenth Flag Raising and Commemoration 

June 14  3–5 p.m.  Penfield Tate II Municipal Building, 1777 Broadway, Boulder
City leaders and representatives from CU Boulder and the NAACP will deliver remarks. Whistling Boar will provide catering, and Selasee and the FaFa Family will perform.


Museum of Boulder and Out Boulder County: Juneteenth Liberation Day

June 20  5–8 p.m.  Museum of Boulder, 2205 Broadway, Boulder
Celebrate the beauty of Black resilience, community and the expression of liberation for queer and transgender people of color. Substance-free and open to all ages. Light refreshments will be included, and tickets are now on sale.

Longmont Juneteenth: Amplifying Black Voices and Community

June 22 1–6 p.m. Roosevelt Park, 700 Longs Peak Ave., Longmont
Sponsored in part by CU Boulder, the family-oriented event is free to the public and promises to be a day filled with music, entertainment and cultural significance.

Erie Juneteenth Celebration

June 22 6–9 p.m. Coal Creek Park, 575 Kattell St., Erie
Join the Erie community for a Juneteenth celebration at Coal Creek Park.

Fort Collins Juneteenth Celebration: Celebrate Freedom

June 14–16 215 E. Foothills Parkway, Fort Collins
Join for youth night featuring a game room and outdoor film screenings, an outdoor concert, community celebration and church on the lawn with a lively gospel performance.

Denver Juneteenth Music Festival

June 15–16 27th and Welton streets, Denver
The celebration includes a parade, free music and vendors  in Denver’s historic Five Points neighborhood. CU is a community partner and sponsor.

Denver Juneteenth Parade

June 15  11 a.m. 26th Avenue and Williams Street, Denver
Join Denver’s longest running parade, dating back to the 1950s. The parade kicks off the Juneteenth Music Festival. The parade starts at 26th Avenue on Williams Street and goes to 26th Avenue on Welton Street.

Juneteenth at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science

June 19 9 a.m.–5 p.m. Denver Museum of Nature and Science, 2001 Colorado Blvd., Denver
Visit the Denver Museum of Nature and Science for free in celebration of Juneteenth! No need to reserve your ticket ahead of time online. A separate ticket is required if you’d like to visit the planetarium or Infinity Theater.

Southern Colorado Juneteenth Festival

June 14–16 126 Cimino Drive, Colorado Springs
This festival is a vibrant showcase of music, art and educational activities that engage residents and visitors alike in the rich traditions and history commemorated on this special day.

Written in solidarity and collaboration by the Division of Mission Culture and Inclusive Community.

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Naropa Campuses Closed on Friday, March 15, 2024

Due to adverse weather conditions, all Naropa campuses will be closed Friday, March 15, 2024.  All classes that require a physical presence on campus will be canceled. All online and low-residency programs are to meet as scheduled.

Based on the current weather forecast, the Healing with the Ancestors Talk & Breeze of Simplicity program scheduled for Friday evening, Saturday, and Sunday will be held as planned.

Staff that do not work remotely or are scheduled to work on campus, can work remotely. Staff that routinely work remotely are expected to continue to do so.

As a reminder, notifications will be sent by e-mail and the LiveSafe app.  

Regardless of Naropa University’s decision, if you ever believe the weather conditions are unsafe, please contact your supervisor and professors.  Naropa University trusts you to make thoughtful and wise decisions based on the conditions and situation in which you find yourself in.