June 19 Communication to the Dutchess Day School Faculty and Staff
I hope this message finds you well and preparing for a relaxing and celebratory weekend. I am writing this morning to share that in addition to the calendar marking the official beginning of summer and Fathers' Day, it is important to note that today is June 19, often called Juneteenth, and for many our nation's second Independence Day.
On January 1, 1863, the Emancipation Proclamation declared that all enslaved Blacks were to be set free. As the war had not yet ended, the Confederacy did not comply with this proclamation until June 19, 1865, when Union General Gordon Granger rode into Galveston, Texas. From that point forward, Juneteenth became emblematic of an important turning point in our nation's path. It is clear that we, as a country, still have very far to travel in our efforts to reconcile history and support our black communities. It is my hope, that while painful, we are witnessing and participating in a permanent change in our world as it relates to equity, justice, and support for Black lives and all humanity.
To that end, for today and moving forward, Dutchess Day School will honor Juneteenth as a paid holiday for all employees and clearly marked on our school calendar.