While May graduation celebrations evoke dreams of the future, the month of June calls us backwards to consider our past. Two important historic commemorations take place this month: Juneteenth and Pride.
Juneteenth celebrates the end of slavery in the United States and commemorates the day—June 19, 1865—when enslaved people in Galveston, Texas were finally informed of their freedom.
Over 100 years later, on June 28, 1970, the first U.S. Gay Pride Week and march were held in New York City marking the one-year anniversary of the Stonewall uprising—a spontaneous revolt by members of the BGLTQ+ community standing against police harassment and ongoing raids of the Stonewall Inn, a local gay bar.
These two groups of people, separated by 100 years, are perhaps unlikely kinfolks, though both are part of the history of the struggle for freedom and equity. Today, we pause to celebrate their strength even amidst our ongoing fight to realize their dreams of freedom and equality.
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Recent weeks have brought yet more devastating tragedies across our nation. The heartbreaking killings of Adam Toledo and Daunte Wright, two young people who had so much of their lives yet to live, and the gut-wrenching testimony recounting George Floyd’s final minutes, have focused this country again on the killings of African Americans and other people of color by police. The list of those whose names we know is long, and a full list would include many others whose names we do not know, and whose deaths did not occur in broad...
As the world turns its attention towards Minneapolis, I thought I would tell you just one story from a few years back, just one of many I could tell. I was stopped on my way home from a Bikram yoga class after work. The squad car followed me for several miles, my elevated heartrate turning to palpitations when seven police cars surrounded my vehicle. Long arm rifles drawn, readied, and aimed at my person from crouched positions behind open car doors, the lead officer ordering me out of my vehicle.... Read more about Remembering, Reflecting, Responding
In January, I wrote to you and reflected on both the importance of democracy and the demands of the current moment relative to racial justice. Now, I invite you to engage with a series of collaborations for our...