Northern New Mexico College Invites Community To A Juneteenth Celebration


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 Saturday, 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 nineteenth 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 Bldg. 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

     1:40 p.m.     Closing Remarks – Porter Swentzell, Ph.D., secretary/treasurer, Northern New Mexico College Board of  Regents
     2 p.m.          Announcement of Upcoming Celebrations – Willie Williams

For more information, contact Willie Williams at or 505-423-7547 or Amy Pena at