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Office of the President
On June 17, President Biden signed Juneteenth into Law as a national holiday. This is a historic moment in our collective history. Juneteenth, which commemorates June 19, 1865, is the day when the last enslaved people in Texas and the defeated Confederate South were finally freed, is now a national holiday. Not since 1983 has the federal government enacted a new federal holiday.
In July 2002, Governor Gray Davis, signed AB 1740 which proclaimed the 3rd Saturday in June each year as “Juneteenth National Freedom Day: A day of observance,” and urged “the people of California to join in celebrating this day to honor and reflect on the significant role that African-Americans have played in the history of the United States and how they have enriched society through their steadfast commitment to promoting brotherhood and equality.”
This historic moment is definitely worth celebrating, and yet we must not lose sight that we have much work to do to repair long-standing racial inequities, and work together to make the structural and enduring changes needed to eradicate the effects of racism and bias from our classrooms, our workplace and society.
On this June 19th let us take this day, with our family and friends, as a time for us to reaffirm our support for and to stand in solidarity with our Black/African American students, employees, colleagues, friends, neighbors and family members.
Wishing you and all your loved ones a happy Juneteenth Day!
Dr. Carole Goldsmith