I hope this message finds you in the best of health and spirits, especially during these uncertain times. On June 17th, Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer issued a proclamation declaring June 19th as Juneteenth Celebration Day in Michigan.
Juneteenth is the oldest nationally celebrated commemoration of the end of slavery in the United States. Although the Emancipation Proclamation was effective on January 1, 1863, it took 2 and a half additional years for enslaved men, women, and children in Galveston, Texas to have their legal right to be free honored. Acting as the date of emancipation, June 19th also became a long-standing day of celebration, meant to honor African-American resilience and the end of slavery. More information on this can also be found found here.
“Juneteenth is a crucial day in our nation’s history to remember how far we have come and recognize how far we still have to go,” said Governor Whitmer. “During a time when communities of color are disproportionately impacted by COVID-19, and when the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery have shone a light on the systemic racism Black Americans face every day, we must work together to build a more equitable and just Michigan. I’m proud to declare June 19, 2020 as Juneteenth Celebration Day, and will continue to work tirelessly to create a state that is equal for all.” View the full proclamation here.
For those who were not able to join in the community conversation on June 5th and June 12th, the Office for Institutional Equity and Inclusion will be hosting our Virtual Sharing Circle with the CCS Alumni Council Executive Board and the Office of the President on June 26th at 3:30 p.m. Please click here to RSVP.
As we collectively work to advance equitable outcomes, I invite everyone to commemorate this holiday. We encourage our community to take time to reflect, advocate, take actionable steps, and observe this historical day, and to set goals on ways to continue to promote equity work at CCS. Interested in learning more, please click here for Juneteenth events in our area. Let us continue to cultivate a community that focuses on equity, inclusivity and social justice for all.
Dr. Deirdre Young
Assistant Dean for Institutional Equity and Inclusion
College for Creative Studies