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Happy Juneteenth!

On Friday, June 11, Governor Kate Brown signed House Bill 2168, making Juneteenth a legal state holiday in Oregon.

On Thursday, June 17, 2021, President Joe Biden signed a Bill recognizing Juneteenth as a Federal Holiday. This is a bill that members of the Congressional Black Caucus have been fighting for decades to get.

On Wednesday, June 16, our Board of Education passed a resolution officially recognizing Juneteenth at LCC. Read the news release for more details. You can watch the Juneteenth Board of Education discussion that happened during the board meeting (discussion starts at timestamp 55:56).

We are proud that our College has joined with the Federal and State governments in acknowledging this important day in our nation’s history. It’s one small step towards creating true equity for Black Americans within our country.

We’re posting last year’s Juneteenth statement below (with minor edits) because we continue to stand by what we wrote. We invite you to read it and visit the links at the bottom to educate yourself as we celebrate and honor this momentous day.

Today we again invite you to join us in recognizing and honoring the first federally recognized Juneteenth Day of Observance by celebrating, educating, and agitating. We encourage you to join your community members in “Turning Trauma Into Joy” at the Eugene Juneteenth Celebration. We STILL align with the principles of the Black Lives Matter movement in hopes that “together we can be architects of democracy” (Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.). We condemn white supremacy and publicly commit to doing our part to fight systemic racism in our College, our city, our state, and our nation. We stand in solidarity with the demonstrations that continue to happen throughout our country. 

We feel the pain of racially motivated violence and injustice in our communities, especially when committed by those in power. We grieve with the families of the myriad people of color who have died or suffered from police brutality at the hands of those who should serve and protect, both during this last year and throughout our history as a nation. This violence towards our Black community members has gone on for far too long, and we call on our LCCEF members and our community to continue to act, to keep making change happen, and to never tire or be silently complicit. 

We recognize the risk that law enforcement (including our own public safety officers) face in confronting corrupt policing systems and standing up for what is right, and we respect those who do so. We acknowledge the work our local police departments have done to instill and promote policies, both within and outwardly, that address these long-standing issues; we will be keeping a watchful eye to ensure accountability and continued progress.

We appreciate the leadership and guidance of the BIPOC members of our local and college community as we strive to make a difference. As we have seen around the nation, and indeed around the world in response, we must continue to come together in action. We continue to be dedicated to lifting up voices that have long been oppressed, making space for people to tell their stories, and working for true equality.

Here is a list of actions you can take (it is not all-encompassing by any means, and we encourage you to suggest additional resources in the comments) :

We promise to keep educating ourselves on the complex history and current effects of systemic racism in order to better serve our membership. As part of this process, we’ve asked our Constitution Committee to create a Diversity Officer EC position. We hope to have an update for you about the position by this fall.

“The two most dynamic and cohesive liberal forces in the country are the labor movement and the Negro freedom movement. Together we can be architects of democracy.”

Martin Luther King, Jr.
AFL-CIO National Convention, Miami Beach, Florida, December 11, 1961
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