Juneteenth 2023







It seems ironic that Supreme Court decisions are handed down in June, a month when we celebrate liberation in many ways: throughout the month as we celebrate Pride; on June 19th as we celebrate the abolition of slavery during Juneteenth.

We know that the celebration of liberation is rooted in struggle. It is in the struggle that we find the opportunity to engage. I am thankful that you are working and studying at Union Institute & University at this moment in history, a place where our Union community works to engage with each other; in that engagement, we find enlightenment. This is especially true now as we face social justice challenges in America. Therefore, we must continue engaging, enlightening, and empowering each other.

As June closes the celebrations of liberation, I urge you to keep Union’s commitment to social justice in the forefront of your minds as our country grapples with big questions. Sharon Ifill, the civil rights lawyer, and president and director-counsel emeritus of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund recently wrote on Twitter: “Remember that we have never seen the America we’ve been fighting for. So, no need to be nostalgic. Right on the other side of this unraveling is opportunity.”

Union’s voice, through The Institute for Social Justice, will be heard during the challenging times that are before us. As we work toward engagement and enlightenment, how can we find ways to empower those in our community who need it most? For Maya Angelou said, “The truth is, no one of us can be free until everybody is free.”