Miami celebrates Juneteenth at FIU (includes video story)

FIU hosted its second annual Juneteenth Freedom Day Celebration this past weekend. Hundreds attended celebrations at the university’s main campus, which included small business vendors, food trucks, and musical performances. 

June 19th marks the exact day in 1865 when enslaved people in Galveston, Texas were first informed by federal troops that they were free due to the end of the civil war almost 2.5 years after the Emancipation Proclamation. 

President Biden signed a bill in June 2021 recognizing Juneteenth as an official holiday making it the nation’s youngest federal holiday.

The event was held at the Earlene and Albert Dotson Pavilion, named after the late Albert E. Dotson Sr. and his wife who have played a significant part in the success of FIU for several decades. Dotson served on the FIU Foundation Board of Directors from 1983 to 2001 and was also the trustee emeritus and chaired the FIU Board of Trustees from 2009 to 2011. He also played a significant role in the founding of the Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine, as well as the college of law.

“It was very important that we stood in front of the Earlene and Albert Dotson Pavilion…the only building with the name of a black trustee who has been very integral in our FIU history.” Dr. Emmanuele Bowles, Diversity Equity Inclusion Director said. 

For more information on FIU’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion department visit

Michelle Morris is a senior at Florida International University, pursuing her Bachelor’s degree in Mass Communications and Digital Media with a concentration in Television Production. Michelle Morris is Haitian American and has a passion for storytelling and video production that make diverse stories come to life. After graduation, Michelle aspires to be a television presenter as well as pursue other areas of television such as screenwriting.