The following message was sent to the Shenandoah University community on June 17, 2022:
Dear Shenandoah University community,
This weekend we will celebrate Juneteenth. Also called Freedom Day, Liberation Day, or Emancipation Day, Juneteenth is a holiday that not only acknowledges the end of American slavery, but also celebrates the growth of the Black community and how far we have come from the first Juneteenth celebration.
Juneteenth has been widely recognized and celebrated throughout the United States since June 19, 1865, when federal troops arrived in Galveston, Texas, to take control of the state and ensure that all enslaved people were freed. In 2021, the U.S. Congress passed legislation establishing Juneteenth as a federal holiday. Juneteenth serves as both a reminder and an opportunity for greater recognition of and education on issues of race, culture, history, and freedom.
We are grateful for the ongoing conversations about belonging and inclusion that are occurring at Shenandoah University. We continue taking steps to identify and change the processes, structures, and beliefs that perpetuate systemic racism and discrimination against Black people and all marginalized people in our society.
To commemorate Juneteenth and all that the holiday stands for, we encourage you to attend the NAACP of Winchester’s Juneteenth celebration on Sunday, June 19, from noon-5 p.m. at the Museum of the Shenandoah Valley. The event is free to the public.
As we celebrate this day of education, fellowship, and remembrance, we encourage you to think about the roles that each of us can play in making our community more welcoming. Juneteenth is a reminder to fight for the inclusivity of every American every day.
Dahlia L. Ashford, M.S., CPC, CIC, CPCC
Assistant Dean of Students for Diversity, Inclusion, and Residential Services
DeShon Foxx, M.S.
Assistant Athletics Director
Hakeem Leonard, Ph.D.
Assistant Provost for Inclusion, Diversity & Equity