June 17, 2021
Dear Southwestern Community,
Today, on June 17th, 2021, President Biden signed legislation into law making Juneteenth National Independence Day a federal holiday. This new federal holiday commemorates the end of slavery in the United States.
Juneteenth commemorates that day, June 19, 1865, when enslaved Black people in Galveston, Texas, finally received news of their freedom. This news came two months after the end of the Civil War, six months after the 13th Amendment was ratified, and two and a half years after the Emancipation Proclamation.
Vice President Harris today said that national holidays are "days when we as a nation have decided to stop and take stock, and often to acknowledge our history."
Southwestern will join in this time of reflection and acknowledgment of the profound suffering and loss of life caused by historic racial inequity. This year, Juneteenth is on Saturday, June 19.
Ways to celebrate Juneteenth
1) Attend a local event, virtual or in-person. The LA Times has an excellent list.
2) Support Black-owned businesses today and in the future. Depending on your needs and where you plan to shop, use one of these directories. (Credit: ADL)
3) Educate yourself. Check out these resources and media provided by Jessica Johnson, Southwestern’s Director of Institutional Compliance and Title IX Coordinator:
Juneteenth Article + Additional Resources – This link includes books, movies, and tv shows. The documentary 13TH and the series When They See Us, both on Netflix, are highly recommended.