Pacific Celebrates Juneteenth
Please join me and Pacific University in honoring Juneteenth on Friday, June 19. Juneteenth, also known as Freedom Day, commemorates the day, in 1865, that the last slaves in America were legally freed from bondage, two years after the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation.
To our knowledge, Pacific has not publicly acknowledged this day previously. We are working to do better, and we invite you to continue the dialogue with us.
Celebrating Juneteenth does not repair the damage that structural racism has done to people in this country, and it does not absolve any of us in our role in those structures.
Change can only come from dismantling those systems in real time. We must listen, educate ourselves, and commit each and every day to actively abolishing racism, prejudice and microaggressions in our lives, land and institution.
In honor of Juneteenth, I encourage all of us to take time for reflection, education or service. The following are a few resources to learn more about Juneteenth, our Oregon history, and how we all — especially those of us who are white and experience privilege — can be actively anti-racist.
- What is Juneteenth by PBS
- Juneteenth: A Celebration of Freedom by Charles Andrew Taylor
- Oregon Black Pioneers by OPB
- Oregon’s Enigmatic Black History by Oregon Historical Society
- The Racist History of Portland by Alana Semuels
- Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates
- White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Race by Robin DiAngelo
- So You Want to Talk About Race? by Ijeoma Oluo
- The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander
- How to be an Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi
- What is White Privilege, Really? By Cory Collins
- …But, I’m Not Racist (Tools for Well-Meaning Whites) by Kathy Obear
- Further reading, a resource from the Chicago Public Library
Lesley M. Hallick