Today is the anniversary of Juneteenth, June 19,1865, the day that the Texan slaves found out they were freed by the Emancipation Proclamation two and a half years after it happened. The 200,000 Texan slaves were the very last to be informed. Major General Gordon Granger and his Union soldiers delivered the news to the slaves and after that day it became a tradition for African Americans to celebrate freedom every year around this time. As former slaves these African Americans knew what it was like to not be granted the rights to property, education, or employment by their own country. June 19th was nicknamed Juneteenth by combining June and 19. The day has traditionally been celebrated with music, prayer, food, education, sports, etc.
Today we honor this day and recommit ourselves to embracing diversity, equity, and inclusion and acknowledge there is much work we need to do as a school and as a nation to help ensure equality, freedom, and justice for all. Click here to read our immediate next steps to make Pres an inclusive community for all. We lean on our Catholic values and the words of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops from their pastoral letter against racism, "as followers of Christ, we seek to reclaim the God-given sanctity of each person's inviolable human dignity."
For more information on Juneteenth, visit: http://www.juneteenth.com/history.htm