“Juneteenth is freedom for everybody. I want everyone to know dreams can come to fruition.” -Opal Lee
While Juneteenth has become a national holiday due to the tireless efforts of 95 year old former school teacher, Opal Lee, the day represents both a rejoicing of freedom and one of the many manifestations of systemic racism at the root of our country’s history. As we center on the meaning of Juneteenth for each of us, as a school which centers social justice and the wholeness of each of our humanity, you’re invited to enact a moment of silence as you take a moment to consider the meaning and responsibility June 19 has for us all. Depending on who you are, our communities will revel in celebrating freedom by joining the many celebrations of Black empowerment, lives and joy, and/or continue contemplating your education on race, privilege, history for anti-racism and liberation.
“Juneteenth has never been a celebration of victory or an acceptance of the way things are. It’s a celebration of progress. It’s an affirmation that despite the most painful parts of our history, change is possible—and there is still so much work to do.” — President Barack Obama
A change that is all our responsibility and which invites our participation in a consistent and tireless manner. As bell hooks tells us that “If we want a beloved community, we must stand for justice.”