Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility
Select Page

Notre Dame College is helping to celebrate—and educate others about—the Juneteenth holiday.

The College is teaming with the City of South Euclid for a Juneteenth Freedom Day event on Sunday, June 18, from 1-5 p.m. at Garfield Memorial Church, 1534 S. Green Road. The festivities will showcase area vendors, food trucks, live music and other performers and include inflatables, face painting, crafts and additional activities for all ages. Visitors will be treated to a special Father’s Day recognition and a gift from minority-owned businesses.

The commemoration also will feature a special presentation from Notre Dame’s Chief Human Resources Officer Judy West, who will inform the community about the history of Juneteenth, as well as African American communities in the Cleveland area, and the founding of the holiday.

Juneteenth, June 19, honors the day in 1865 when U.S. troops enforced the abolition of slavery in Galveston, Texas. It is the most enduring of African American anniversaries in the U.S. The date was made a federal holiday in 2021.


Notre Dame is celebrating its centennial in 2022-2023 and has its own history of pioneering educational, social and economic access for diverse populations.

The College opened its doors to Black students and recognized its first Black graduate in the 1930s, two decades before Brown v. Board of Education 1954 banned segregation in schools. In the early 1950s, Notre Dame hired its first Black faculty member, Mary Elizabeth “Betty” Brown Syed ’38, who is that first diverse alumna of the College.

Notre Dame has advanced opportunity for marginalized populations throughout its 100 years. The College appointed its first formal diversity officer last year and elevated the position to a member of the president’s cabinet.

Today, the State of Ohio is considered about 14 percent Black, whereas nearly 40 percent of the College’s current student population identifies as diverse.


During the Freedom Day celebration, West will share how African Americans in the City of Cleveland experienced less social and occupational discrimination in the 1800s than in other parts of the North and South U.S. She will discuss how the conditions for Black residents in the city deteriorated sharply as prejudice spread in the 20th century.

The College recognized the Juneteenth holiday as part of its fiscal year calendar in 2022. Private institutions, like Notre Dame, can choose whether to observe federal holidays.

The Notre Dame and City of South Euclid 2023 Juneteenth Freedom Day celebration is presented in part by Garfield Memorial Church and the Northeast Ohio MyCom communications grant project.

June 2023

About Notre Dame College

Notre Dame College is a private, Catholic, liberal arts college in South Euclid, Ohio, committed to teaching students how to make a good living and live a good life. Founded by the Sisters of Notre Dame in 1922, the College offers bachelor’s degrees in 30 disciplines plus a variety of master’s degrees, certification programs and continuing and professional development programs for adult learners on campus and online. For more information, visit