June 19, 2020
Dear Lewis & Clark Community,
We want to acknowledge that today is Juneteenth, an important day of remembering and celebrating the liberation of enslaved Black people in the southern United States. Many of us learned that slavery ended when President Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863. What really happened is that it took more than two years before Texas finally enforced that executive order. June 19, 1865, is the day Union General Gordon Granger came to Galveston and told the people of Texas that, “in accordance with a proclamation from the Executive of the United States, all slaves are free.” Over time, June 19 was celebrated as Liberation Day, as Freedom Day, as Juneteenth. And though we honor this day, we acknowledge that ending slavery did not and has not ended abuse, racist violence, or discrimination.
We also want to emphasize that the Office of Equity and Inclusion exists to support you and to make this community a better place for us all. If you haven’t seen our message from June 4 that talks about our plans and resources moving forward, please check that out.
Thank you for your time, effort, stamina, and dedication as we work to create an LC community where everyone is seen, heard, appreciated and valued.