Celebrating Pride Month and Juneteenth

by Cathy Sandeen, UAA Chancellor  |   

Dear UAA Community,

As we celebrate diversity on our campus, June provides two very important opportunities to elevate conversations surrounding race, sexual orientation and gender identity.

In June, we celebrate Pride Month, honor members of the LGBTQ2+ community and commemorate the 1969 Stonewall Uprising in Manhattan, which represented a turning point in the equality movement. I encourage you to explore the rich educational resources developed by the Office of Equity and Compliance to learn more about the history of Pride Month, why it matters and how we can contribute to making our campus a welcoming and inclusive place for all members of our community.

I also want to draw your attention to tomorrow’s Juneteenth holiday, celebrating the full enforcement of President Lincoln’s 1863 Emancipation Proclamation freeing those in slavery. The proclamation was not enforced in the territory of Texas until almost two and a half years later, prompting the annual Juneteenth celebration.

I strongly encourage your participation in UAA Student Life and Leadership’s virtual celebration of Juneteeth. The event will include a watch party of the film “Just Mercy” followed by a Zoom panel discussion examining the film’s themes. Distinguished panelists include: Judge Pamela Washington, Judge Larry Card, Jervette Ward, Ph.D., and Ed Wesley. Stephanie White Thorn will moderate.

As our nation grapples with a painful history and the enduring effects of systemic racism, these conversations become even more important to facilitate the understanding and action needed for true healing and meaningful change. I am committed to ensuring UAA is a place where these conversations continue to occur.

You can hear more from UAA students and alumni about the importance of continuing the conversation and listening to one another. I also invite you to read more about UAA’s diversity and inclusion initiatives to see how we are taking steps to foster an equitable environment where all are welcome and encouraged to thrive.

Sincerely,
Cathy Sandeen
UAA Chancellor

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