Dear Wright State Community,
This week, our university recognizes and celebrates Juneteenth, also known as Freedom Day, the oldest national commemoration of the end of slavery in the United States. For members of the Black community, it is a day of joy and of pain, and this year it is a day of national engagement.
Juneteenth commemorates the freeing of Africans in America on June 19, 1865, when in Texas they learned that the Civil War had ended. It is not lost on many that these enslaved people learned of this news nearly two-and-a-half years after President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation. The day was a milestone in the long and arduous journey African Americans have taken toward equality and justice. As we see today, there is still a long road toward realizing Black freedom in the United States.
To celebrate Juneteenth, the Bolinga Black Cultural Resources Center and the Division of Student Affairs have organized Black Freedom through my Eyes on Wednesday, June 16, from noon to 1:30 p.m. in the Apollo Room in the Student Union. This celebration is open to students, faculty, staff, and alumni.
Participants will paint a canvas that shares their vision for Black freedom in the United States, then participate in a conversation about that vision and their role in realizing their vision. The Bolinga Center and Students Affairs hope to display the paintings on campus.
The significance of Juneteenth continues to grow as our nation continues to strive toward racial justice and equality. Wright State University remains committed to creating and sustaining a welcoming campus for all. Through our collective efforts we can build a more inclusive community that supports diversity, accessibility, and equity.
I encourage everyone in the Wright State community to learn more about the history of Juneteenth, find ways to effect the changes you want to see in your communities, and engage in ways that lead to dismantling structural and overt racism and other forms of discrimination on our campus, in our communities, and in our country.
Sue Edwards, President