This message was sent on Friday, June 19, 2020.
Dear Students, Faculty, and Staff:
We are writing to recognize that today, June 19th, is Juneteenth. On this date, we remember that although the Emancipation Proclamation was formally issued on January 1, 1863, it took two and a half years – until June 19, 1865 -- for the proclamation to be communicated across the country. Over time, Black people and their allies began to celebrate this day to commemorate emancipation and acknowledge the ways it was withheld.
This is a day to reflect on the promise of emancipation and on how far we still have to go to realize that promise. Black people in America continue to suffer deep and ongoing forms of racial injustice, and some of that racial injustice is a part of Bryn Mawr College’s ongoing history. Yesterday, many of us read an Open Letter and petition from Bryn Mawr and Haverford students and community members that communicated how deeply and urgently change is needed. In addition to acknowledging racial injustice, we must continue to deliver on specific actions to create a better and more equitable community.
The ideas and priorities we have been gathering will, we hope, guide us in collective action to give shape to the institution we aspire to be.
We hope that the community will take some time to reflect about the meaning of Juneteenth, and to commit to anti-racist action both within and beyond the Bryn Mawr community. We invite you to share those commitments or additional suggestions at one of the community forums we are organizing for the summer (dates to be announced shortly).
The Diversity Leadership Group
Kimberly Cassidy, President
Darlyne Bailey, Professor and Dean Emeritus, Graduate School of Social Work and Social Research
Vanessa Christman, Assistant Dean for Access and Community Development
Timothy Harte, Chair and Professor of Russian on the Myra T. Cooley Lectureship in Russian
Cheryl Horsey, Chief Enrollment Officer
Ruth Lindeborg, Chief of Staff and Secretary of the College
Rodney Matthews, Multimedia Coordinator
Mary Osirim, Provost and Professor of Sociology
Ann-Therese Ortíz, Associate Dean for Equity, Inclusion, & Community Life
Gina Siesing, Chief Information Officer and Constance A. Jones Director of Libraries
Janet Shapiro, Dean and Professor, Graduate School of Social Work and Social Research
Kathy Tierney, Director of Athletics, Physical Education, and Recreation
Jennifer Walters, Dean of the Undergraduate College