Juneteenth commemorates the final freeing of slaves in America in 1865. Yet, 155 years later, African Americans are still not truly free. Unequal treatment in education, employment, housing, access to capital, and mass incarceration hold people of color under a heavy weight of despair, poverty, illness, and death. Systems that should support vulnerable communities, such as public assistance, seem perversely designed to perpetuate this long history of abuse. Men and women of color are being murdered by law enforcement – in the streets, in their cars, and in their homes.
Over its history, Juneteenth has been a time for both celebration and reflection. It is a time for self-improvement, education, and awareness. This year, on this anniversary of the end of slavery, the OADC challenges our community to reflect on the issues facing today’s communities of color. Educate yourselves, your friends, family, and colleagues. Take a moment to truly see the experiences of those who do not look like you. Then strengthen your resolve to elevate the voices of those who have been silenced, cry with those who are hurting, and seize every opportunity to make this world a better place.
Stay strong in this fight,
Lindy and the OADC team
PS. Princeton University has compiled a list of resources for combatting racism. Check it out here: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1bkqB0iyvTUXD27FIGdpjxgC-p1YmZwKKniSLbe24oNw/edit#gid=0