Dear UCCS faculty and staff,
As shared last week, Juneteenth is now a recognized state holiday in Colorado and one supported by CU systemwide. This action marks a step forward toward greater inclusion and social equality, not just for our university community, but for the entire CU system.
Juneteenth is both a celebration and a reckoning. Just as the Fourth of July celebrates the American colonies gaining independence from England, Juneteenth celebrates the last enslaved African Americans gaining freedom in Texas, two and a half years after slavery was formally abolished. This year’s holiday marks 157 years since that day. It is a time to celebrate, as well as an opportunity to reflect on how we can build a more equitable and just future.
New this year, all eligible faculty and staff will have an additional holiday to use as a paid personal day of observance, which may be used in observance of Juneteenth or on another day of your choosing. You may use this day with your supervisor’s approval any time before December 31, 2022.
Given the close proximity to Juneteenth, we have provided the flexibility to use this personal day of observance through the end of 2022. We will determine how best to implement this holiday for next fiscal year and going forward, and will share more information in the coming months.
Eligible employees include all employees who are eligible for paid holidays and are hired in fiscal year 2022 (July 1, 2021–June 30, 2022). To use your personal day of observance, coordinate with your supervisor for approval, and use the “Personal Observance Day” code in MyLeave to request the time off.
We are proud to be honoring this monumental day in our history. It is another step in our journey to become a community where every Mountain Lion feels a greater sense of belonging and can thrive. We hope you will use the Juneteenth holiday as an opportunity to learn, build deeper self-awareness and reflect on the work we still have to do — but also on how far we’ve come.
Venkat Reddy | Chancellor
Rame Hanna | Vice Chancellor for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion