ESPAÑOLA — The community is invited to join Northern New Mexico College (NNMC), keynote speaker Sen. Leo Jaramillo and the Juneteenth Committee to celebrate Juneteenth with a flag raising and Veterans Appreciation Luncheon at noon today, June 18.
Juneteenth (observed on June 19) commemorates the day Union Army Major General Gordon Granger arrived in Galveston, Texas, to announce the end of both the Civil War and slavery – two and a half years after President Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863. The proclamation declared that all persons held as slaves within any state or designated part of a state “shall be then, thenceforward, and forever free.”
Juneteenth (which combines the words “June” and “nineteenth”) became a national holiday in 2021 when Pres. Biden signed into law Juneteenth National Independence Day Act, S. 475. In 2006, New Mexico became the 19th state to recognize “Juneteenth Freedom Day” and the important role African Americans have played shaping New Mexico’s history and their numerous contributions to our state.
NNMC’s commemoration will start with a flag raising and a veterans’ luncheon, followed by a roster of speakers. Sen. Leo Jaramillo will give the keynote address and Patricia Trujillo, New Mexico Higher Education Department deputy cabinet secretary, is among the confirmed speakers. Willie Williams, state director of the Juneteenth New Mexico – National Juneteenth Observance Foundation, will speak about “What is Juneteenth, the new narrative” and Christopher L. Archuleta, senior vice commander, National Guard – Post 5610, will provide the veterans’ perspective.
Schedule of events:
12 p.m. Presentation and raising of Juneteenth Freedom Flag – in front of the Montoya Administration Building
12:15 p.m. Lunch and Ceremony – NNMC cafeteria, inside the Montoya Administration Building
12:30 p.m. Opening and Welcome – Bárbara M. Medina, Ph.D., president, Northern New Mexico College
12:40 p.m. Prayer – Pastor Charlie Riddick
12:50 p.m. What is Juneteenth, the new narrative – Willie Williams, NJOF NM State Director
1 p.m. Words of Unity – Patricia Trujillo, Ph.D., deputy cabinet secretary, New Mexico Higher Education Department
1:10 p.m. Keynote Address – Sen. Leo Jaramillo
1:30 p.m. Veterans Remarks – Christopher L. Archuleta, senior vice commander, National Guard – Post 5610
2 p.m. Announcement of Upcoming Celebrations – Willie Williams
Northern New Mexico College has served the rural communities of Northern New Mexico for over a century. Since opening in 1909 as the Spanish American Normal School in El Rito, NM, the College has provided affordable access to quality academic programs that meet the changing educational, economic and cultural needs of the region.
Northern is an open-admissions institution offering the most affordable bachelor’s programs in the Southwest. Now one of the state’s four regional comprehensive institutions, with its main campus in Española, Northern offers more than 50 bachelor’s, associate, and certificate programs in arts & human sciences, film & digital media, STEM programs, business, education, liberal arts, and nursing. The College has reintroduced technical trades in partnership with two local unions and five public school districts through its new co-located Branch Community College, the first of its kind in the state’s history. Northern is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) and has earned prestigious national accreditations for its engineering, nursing, education, and business programs. Learn more at https://nnmc.edu/.