Dear Members of the TC Community,
On Sunday, June 19, our nation will observe Juneteenth, also known as Emancipation Day, the oldest known commemoration of the freeing of enslaved people in the United States on June 19, 1865 in Texas, two and a half years after the Emancipation Proclamation of 1863. This is both a joyous occasion to celebrate the resilience of formerly enslaved Black people, as well as an important reminder of the continued education and advocacy we must pursue in order to create a truly anti-racist and equitable society.
Juneteenth has been celebrated in various parts of the country since 1865, but it was not designated as a federal holiday until last year. This official recognition was long overdue, and we should remember and honor the groundwork generations of activists laid to bring the holiday to the national spotlight. These activists included Lula Briggs Galloway, former president of the National Association of Juneteenth Lineage; Opal Lee, a retired teacher who walked from Fort Worth, TX to Washington, D.C. to petition for federal recognition for Juneteenth; Al Edwards, a former member of the Texas House of Representatives who led efforts to designate Juneteenth as a Texas state holiday; and many others. Let us celebrate their pride and determination, and be inspired by them to pursue our own diversity, equity and inclusion efforts at Teachers College.
As Juneteenth falls on a Sunday this year, campus will be closed on Monday, June 20. Over the long weekend, we hope you have the opportunity to mark the holiday by participating in some of the festivities taking place around the city. And we look forward to seeing many of you at TC’s Juneteenth Celebration and Barbeque, hosted by the Office of the Vice President for Diversity and Community Affairs, when we return to work on June 21!
President, Teachers College
Provost, Dean and Vice Provost for Academic Affairs
Janice S. Robinson
Vice President for Diversity and Community Affairs