Dear Lewis & Clark Community,

Sunday, June 19, is Juneteenth, a day of remembering and celebrating the liberation of enslaved Black people in the southern United States. It commemorates the day in 1865 when news of emancipation finally reached Galveston, Texas, more than two years after President Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation. Henry Louis Gates Jr. is one scholar who has summarized the historical significance of this date and other dates in history that celebrate emancipation or freedom from enslavement.  

In recognition of Juneteenth, Monday, June 20, will be an annual paid holiday for all Lewis & Clark employees. For our community members who celebrate the holiday as part of family and community tradition, we wish you a joyful celebration! We encourage all other members of our community to join in observing the holiday in reflection, celebration, and action.

Among the celebrations you can attend or participate in is an event on June 19 sponsored by Lewis & Clark’s own Art for Social Change:!view/event/event_id/330452

The readers among us can enjoy books by Black authors at Portland’s First Annual Black Book Festival on June 19. For more information go to Watzek Library is featuring Juneteenth related selections throughout the month:

Juneteenth Oregon offers a number of opportunities to give or volunteer at:, or

Those interested in supporting local Black-owned businesses can find more information at: 

As we reflect on this celebration of freedom, we know that struggles for liberation and freedom do not start and end with one historical act. The 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, also adopted in 1865, outlawed the practice of enslaving others. It did not, however, bring an end to racism or racial violence. As a learning community committed to diversity and inclusion, Lewis & Clark can be part of the collective work to expand freedom and ensure that everyone is seen, heard, and valued. 

Thank you to everyone for joining in this important effort. 


Executive Council

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