In recognition of Juneteenth, Chestnut Hill College asks our entire to community to take time and reflect on how we can work towards a more inclusive and just future.
Dear Members of the College Community,
Today is known as Juneteenth, which marked the end of slavery, and the beginning of a long and arduous struggle for freedom and equality for Black people in America that remains to be achieved 155 years later. The recent acts and tragedies of racism that have ravished our nation are indicators that the struggle continues today. The street-filled protests that have occurred in all 50 states over the past three weeks, intentional dialogues and calls to action are examples of our society’s attempts to confront racism and discrimination that have plagued our nation and its institutions for 400+ years.
Juneteenth is an opportunity for us to educate ourselves about our history (beyond the traditional history books), listen to and learn from others, and most importantly, determine what intentional action steps Chestnut Hill College can take to continue in its quest to live our values of diversity, inclusion and justice that is free of hate, violence and racism. We urge each member of our community to take time over the next couple of weeks to recognize Juneteenth by reflecting on what we can do individually and collectively to dismantle systematic and structural barriers to equality.
The Office of Diversity and Inclusion has created the I Can’t Breathe Conversation Series, with two programs completed and available on the College’s YouTube Channel, and three more programs in the works for the coming weeks. These are spaces created for critical reflection and difficult dialogue. For many of us, this can be uncomfortable space, and it should be…we must get comfortable with being uncomfortable. We hope these programs offer an opportunity for reflection, learning and community building.
As a nation, we have a long way to go in achieving equality. As an institution of higher learning, we have a responsibility to our students to provide a holistic education marked by excellence, responsibility, growth and service. We have more work to do towards justice for all, but on Juneteenth, we celebrate an important step taken toward the pursuit of freedom. We are hopeful that together we will continue to demand and be active agents of change.
In freedom and equality,
Sister Carol Jean Vale, SSJ, PhD
Juliana M. Mosley, PhD
Chief Diversity, Inclusion & Community Relations Officer
Juneteenth is the oldest nationally celebrated commemoration of the ending of slavery in the United States. On June 19, 1865, Union troops led by Gen. Gordon Granger arrived in Galveston, Texas, to break the news to the last remaining Confederate sympathizers that they’d lost the Civil War and all slaves must be freed. “The people of Texas are informed that in accordance with a Proclamation from the Executive of the United States, all slaves are free,” the Union general read aloud to the residents of Galveston, according to the Texas State Library and Archives Commission.
Diversity and Inclusion at Chestnut Hill College
Sister Carol's Word of the Day
Logue Library's Resources to Fight Racism
Rep. Rabb's Juneteenth Virtual Town Hall