We’ve been talking a lot lately about how we can support our staff, our youth, and our communities in a continued effort to create a more inclusive space, to learn to be an effective ally, and to recognize our own implicit biases.
In the steps we laid out here, we committed to the education of anti-racism at all levels of the organization. The first step we’re taking toward this is providing paid time for staff to expand their personal education around racial justice issues, using some of the resources found here, as well as taking part in local rallies, marches, or peaceful gatherings in support of Black Lives Matter and anti-racism.
Today, we’re honoring Juneteenth, also known as Freedom Day, by engaging in organization-wide professional development. We are conducting no meetings and instead, are providing everyone with options to continue personal learning, growth, and reflection about everything that has been happening around the world over the past few weeks.
Juneteenth is the oldest commemoration of the ending of slavery in the United States. It was on this day, back in 1865, when Union general Gordon Granger read federal orders in Galveston, Texas, that all previously enslaved people in Texas were free. Today also serves as an important reminder that this work is not finished and that we have a lot to do until equity has truly been achieved for all people of color.
As an organization, we believe that Juneteenth is an important day to pause and reflect and we look forward to observing this day annually. If you would like to learn more about Juneteenth and its importance in American history, click here.