The University of Michigan Juneteenth Planning Committee presents the second annual Juneteenth Conference, June 1518, 2022.  This Year’s theme is “Celebrate, Educate, Inspire.”

The conference features two keynote addresses. Ms. Opal Lee, “the Grandmother of Juneteenth,”will speak on Juneteenth’s journey to becoming a national holiday, and Minnijean Brown Trickey, a member of the Little Rock Nine, is in conversation with renowned journalist Roland Martin. These speakers will be joined by top scholars speaking on issues including health equity and mental wellness in the Black community, and the importance of African American institutions such as the church, fraternities and sororities.

The conference will include in-depth discussions about Critical Race Theory, exploring how to include CRT in diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives, as well as detailing the current attacks on teaching Critical Race Theory.

The conference also includes longstanding celebratory traditions of Juneteenth, culminating with a music festival at the Michigan Union on the evening of June 17, and a march and festival at Wheeler Park hosted by the Ann Arbor NAACP on June 18.

Juneteenth, also known as Emancipation Day, marks the end of slavery in the United States when enslaved Africans in Galveston, Texas learned of their freedom on June 19, 1865, two and a half years after President Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation.  President Biden signed Juneteenth into law as a federal holiday in June 2021. 

For more information, including the full schedule, speaker details, and session descriptions, visit

All events are free and open to the public, with options to participate in-person or online. 

Pre-registration is required— those participating virtually will receive zoom links after registration is completed.

The conference is sponsored by the U-M Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, the Office of Academic and Multicultural Initiatives, and the U-M Women of Color Task Force in proud partnership with the Ann Arbor NAACP, the Rackham Graduate School, the College of Literature, Science, and Arts, the Black Employee Association at the University of Michigan, the National Center for Institutional Diversity, and U-M Precision Health.