Happy Juneteenth! Committed to raising awareness for racial justice, equitable treatment and social change

A message by our new Chief Inclusion & Community Engagement Officer, Gloria Coicou: Today marks a momentous day...157 years since the emancipation of enslaved Black people and celebrated by African Americans since the late 1800s, Juneteenth is now recognized as a federal holiday across the country. At the Community Foundation, we are deeply committed to raising awareness for racial justice, equitable treatment, and social change. We stand against racism, hate, and all forms of discrimination.

On this day, use this time to reflect on the history of the long and still ongoing struggle for racial equality and justice. Learn how family life, church, community centers, and schools became paramount to our existence after slavery. Do research about individuals who are largely overlooked in mainstream history. Did you ever wonder why black people love watermelon? Emancipated slaves sold watermelon to make a living outside of the plantation system. I urge you to read “The 1619 Project” developed by Nikole Hannah-Jones, writers from The New York Times and The New York Times Magazine, and others which reframes American history through the Black American lens. Do more to empower yourself.

Juneteenth is not critical race theory, DEI, or a political act…it’s Black History, it’s American history, it’s OUR history, and I urge you to reflect on it. Take time to learn more, listen more, take action in your workplace and in your community, and find ways to support black-owned businesses. Celebrate one another, love on one another, and spread good vibes only. Our work for inclusivity, equity, and racial justice does not stop at Juneteenth or Black History Month…it must happen every day. Happy Juneteenth (Freedom Day)!

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