Bloomfield College President Marcheta P. Evans today announced to the Bloomfield College community that the institution recognized as New Jersey’s only four-year private Predominantly Black Institution (PBI) will be honoring Juneteenth Day as a College holiday for all students and employees.
In making the announcement, President Evans stated, “I want to echo the words spoken by Governor Murphy when he signed the Juneteenth state holiday law last month, when he said, ‘This is an example of an action we can take. I think words matter, but we know that actions matter even more.’ As a New Jersey PBI, and serving as a leader in New Jersey higher education social justice activism, volunteerism and related pursuits, this action is exceedingly fitting for Bloomfield College and the students we serve.”
One of the most diverse liberal arts colleges in the nation, recently cited in U.S. News & World Report as ranking highest in the state of New Jersey and #42 nationally among 216 liberal arts institutions in social mobility, Bloomfield College’s student body reflects its mission and commitment to educating students who are first-generation and are primarily from underserved communities. The College has approximately 1,600 students who are predominantly African American (52%) and Hispanic (29%). Most are from Essex County (42%), and from Passaic (10%), Union (8%) and Hudson (6%) counties. The average family income of enrolled Bloomfield College students is $33,000 and more than 94 percent of the College’s students receive some form of financial aid. More than 35 percent of the College’s students reside on campus.
Governor Murphy, on September 10, signed a law making the Garden State the sixth state in the nation to establish an official state holiday to honor Juneteenth, the day commemorating when the communication about the emancipation of all slaves in America finally reached every state in the union. The law specifically states that it applies only to state employees with some essential employees working on overtime, and that it is up to local governments and private businesses and organizations as to whether to give their employees the day off.
While the Governor established the third Friday in June as Juneteenth Day in New Jersey, Bloomfield College will observe the holiday on the third Thursday in June since the College, along with most (if not all) other higher education institutions in the state, is closed on Fridays in the summer. Therefore, on Thursday, June 17, 2021, Bloomfield College will be closed, no classes will be held and employees will receive a paid day.
Bloomfield College is recognized as both a PBI and a Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI), and is also a Minority Serving Institution (MSI).
More information about Juneteenth Day may be found at https://www.juneteenth.com.