• Cultural Calendar
The Emancipation Proclamation: Beyond Proclamation to Reality

On January 1, 1863, President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation, which is still incorrectly assumed by many to be the moment that freed all U.S. enslaved people. The truth is much more complicated.

Unfortunately, in reality, the Emancipation Proclamation did not free all of those enslaved, but only those living in states in actual rebellion. It did not apply to slavery in the border states, nor to Confederate states that had already been taken under the control of the Union. It was also dependent on the Union achieving military victory in the Civil War, so that hundreds of thousands of enslaved people in Southern states continued to suffer under slavery just as before.

For Black citizens, the Emancipation Proclamation turned the Civil War into a personal fight for their own lives, liberties, and freedoms. By the end of the war, over 200,000 Black soldiers and sailors had joined the fight in the U.S. Army and Navy, spreading news of the Proclamation along the way as they fought their way against the Confederacy into the South, even as they also helped many enslaved people to escape behind Union lines as they did so. 

Learn more about the Emancipation Proclamation (and its ties to Juneteenth) 



Striving for a Better World with the International Day of Peace

Created by the United Nations in 1981, the International Day of Peace takes place on September 21. The 2023 theme is “Actions for Peace: Our Ambition for the #GlobalGoals.” It’s a call to action that recognizes humanity’s individual and collective responsibility to foster peace, which contributes to the realization of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) which would create a culture of peace for all.

Read More about Striving for a Better World with the International Day of Peace
Slavery Remembrance Day

Created by UNESCO to memorialize the horrors of the transatlantic slave trade, Slavery Remembrance Day, also known as International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade and its Abolition, is observed on August 23 worldwide. Upon this day, it's important that we remember that this observance is not only a reminder of the horrors of slavery as we honor its victims—it's also about our dedication across the globe to ensure that slavery, and the racism that caused it, is abolished once and for all.

Read More about Slavery Remembrance Day
Buffalo Soldiers’ Day

Commemorating the formation of the first Army regiments to include Black Soldiers, Buffalo Soldiers' Day is celebrated annually on July 28, honoring the courageous achievements of over 180,000 Black soldiers, many of whom were enslaved people, who fought bravely with the Union during the Civil War.

Read More about Buffalo Soldiers’ Day