On CampusReflections Shared During Juneteenth Celebration
Juneteenth is more than a celebration; it is the freedom of our African American brothers and sisters that deserves to be celebrated and commemorated year-round. On Monday, June 20, Muskingum University held a ceremony in remembrance of this day in history. The outpouring of support from the faculty and staff on campus who not only attended the event, but also advocated for this celebration was amazing.
A video was displayed in which President Hasseler, Linda Hatfield, Jim Dooley, and numerous other faculty, staff, and students voiced their beliefs on the end of slavery and what Juneteenth means to them and our community. There was a consistent theme in the thoughts of those who shared. It was greatly stressed how this celebration needs to not just be honored on June 19th, but on every day of the year, as there is still oppression that is continuing within our society.
Having diversity and inclusion within our campus and community is something that Juneteenth has really brought to light. It not only makes us realize how important it is to uphold these values of freedom, but also to abandon the thoughts and acts of racial injustice that this holiday so clearly stands against.
Many people at this ceremony spoke out on how to better improve and welcome diversity on our campus, as Muskingum continuously strives to build upon morals of unity and inclusion. Valerie Smith stated, “We can strive to look for ways to strengthen our campus and community to be one where every person feels safe, appreciated, and can grow to their full potential. We can embrace the truth that as inclusion increases, the community is enriched.” It is of great importance that we not only embrace these words as a thought, but act on them as a promise.