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Juneteenth Message from Dean Fernando Miralles Wilhelm

Dear Colleagues, 

Very rarely one gets the privilege to experience historical events as they occur. Today is one of those days, and I was eager to briefly share my excitement and sense of hope with all of you.

June 19, 1865 (Juneteenth) is the date that Major General Gordon Granger announced to roughly 250,000 slaves in Galveston, Texas that they were free. Roughly two and a half years (January 1863) prior to Major General Granger’s announcement, President Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation

Governor Northam has declared Friday, Juneteenth (June 18th) a state holiday. While many states acknowledge Juneteenth as a holiday, it has not been recognized as a federal holiday. This week, Congress passed a bill proposing to make Juneteenth a federal holiday, and President Biden signed this bill into law

The work of promoting social justice is not easy, but it is imperative. I encourage you to join me and take this opportunity to strengthen our awareness and understanding of Juneteenth, the significance it holds, and rippling affects it has had on our country, our colleagues, and society. Please take a moment to review the list (and links) provided by Lester Arnold, CHRO & Vice President for Human Resources and Payroll, which contain information about opportunities and local events associated with Juneteenth celebrations.  

Inclusive excellence in science transcends race, culture, gender, socioeconomics, pedigree, and the plethora of dimensions associated with true diversity. I am committed to learning, growing, and working alongside you in increasing the diversity, equity, and inclusivity of the College of Science community. 

Always in solidarity,