The Juneteenth Scholars Program  is designed to recognize the importance of university scholarship in understanding connections between the Juneteenth holiday and contemporary struggles against institutional racism, the exposure of structural inequality, and support for vulnerable populations.

Initiated in June 2020 in response to the Black Lives Matter movement, this program is intended to support faculty members in early stages of their careers who are involved in research on topics such as emancipatory movements, structures of oppression, institutional silences about violence, the courage of activists, and the need for systemic structural change, in the United States and globally. 

Juneteenth Scholars will produce outcomes that benefit the scholarly trajectory of the faculty members, including publications, presentations, and other steps needed to move toward promotion and career progression. The purpose of this program is to support faculty research, without any expectation of additional service or teaching or other activities.

The inaugural Juneteenth Scholars will receive a summer salary in the amount of $5,000 for research conducted between July 1 and August 10, 2020. In addition, each Juneteenth Scholar will be asked to identify one undergraduate who can perform funded research to support the faculty’s scholarly activities. The student may begin work this summer, and can work through the fall semester.

The faculty scholars and their students will be invited to present research at a forum during the next academic year. They will also be invited to contribute to discussions of steps to make Juneteenth Scholars Program a permanent form of faculty support in the college and at Virginia Tech.