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Observing Juneteenth, June 16, 2020

Dear Staff and Faculty,

This Friday, June 19, Smith College will observe Juneteenth, which marks the anniversary of the day in 1865 that Union troops arrived in Texas and announced that all slaves were now free in accordance with the 1863 Emancipation Proclamation. We are suspending work as usual for all faculty and staff on Friday.

To mark this day, we are encouraging our Black colleagues to rest and rejuvenate. If you would like to gather in a virtual community, you could choose to meet with the Black Staff and Faculty Affinity Group at 11 a.m. Please email for a Zoom link.

We are encouraging our white and non-Black colleagues of color to spend time educating themselves and taking other actions to actively counter racism in all its forms. There are many ways to do this work. You could read or watch a resource from this list, which was curated for and crowdsourced from Smith’s two Generating Justice virtual gatherings. If you prefer to join a community discussion, the Office for Equity and Inclusion and the Center for Religious and Spiritual Life will sponsor four different opportunities on Friday; sign up via this form.

Juneteenth is a bittersweet day. It recognizes both freedom proclaimed and justice delayed. At Smith, we know that the road to true equity and inclusion is long, but we are committed to traveling it together.

In solidarity,

Kathleen McCartney

Floyd Cheung
Vice President for Equity and Inclusion