June 18, 2021

Commemorating Juneteenth

Dear Lewis & Clark Community,

Tomorrow is Juneteenth, a day of remembering and celebrating the liberation of enslaved Black people in the southern United States. This commemorates the day in 1865 upon which news of emancipation finally reached Galveston, Texas, more than two years after President Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation.

Earlier this week, the Executive Council met and agreed that next year we will recognize Juneteenth as an annual paid holiday for all Lewis & Clark employees. (Since next year June 19 will fall on a Sunday, the campus holiday will be recognized on the following Monday.) On this day, the campus community will be encouraged to observe the holiday in reflection, celebration, and action. The Office of Equity and Inclusion, along with colleagues on Executive Council, the Equity and Inclusion Committee, and the wider community, will plan for how the day can serve as an opportunity for next year and beyond.

To learn more about Juneteenth and the Emancipation Proclamation, you may wish to visit the resource page created by the Bowdoin College Library that contains links to an array of materials on both topics.

A virtual Juneteenth Celebration in Portland will take place on Saturday at 1 p.m. at pdxjazz.com. This event will feature musical performances and messages from local leaders.

Thank you for your time, effort, stamina, and dedication as we work to create a campus where everyone is seen, heard, appreciated, and valued. The Office of Equity and Inclusion exists to support you and to make this community a better place for us all.


Mark Figueroa
Dean of Equity and Inclusion and Assistant Vice President for Institutional Research and Planning