What is Juneteenth?
Juneteenth, an annual holiday commemorating the end of slavery in the United States, has been celebrated by African-Americans since the late 1800s.
A History Detour
On June 19, 1865, about two months after the Confederate general Robert E. Lee surrendered at Appomattox, Va., Gordon Granger, a Union general, arrived in Galveston, Texas, to inform enslaved African-Americans of their freedom and that the Civil War had ended. General Granger’s announcement put into effect the Emancipation Proclamation, which had been issued more than two and a half years earlier on Jan. 1, 1863, by President Abraham Lincoln.
The holiday received its name by combining June and 19. The day is also sometimes called “Juneteenth Independence Day,” “Freedom Day” or “Emancipation Day.”
Where are we now?
But despite the fights of our forefathers, many individuals are still trapped by the system due to their race, class, gender, faith, sexual orientation, age, and ability.
Many individuals and nonprofit organizations have taken leadership to bring awareness to the various levels of racism, discrimination, and structured inequalities that exists in our communities. But there are still many leaders in government, schools and the workplace who lack the training, or education to have a significant impact on changing the system.
How can we progress?
Changing or implementing a culture that embraces diversity and inclusion is no small feat. There are layers and levels that have to be reached to ensure each person understands their individual and organizational impact. It can be overwhelming.
Take just the first step.
Involve rather than dictate.
Open their eyes.
Let them see from another person's perspective.
Xun Kuang, a Chinese Confucian philosopher once said:
“Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn.”
FACTUALITY doesn’t only tell or teach participants about structured inequalities; the experience engages and involves each individual and challenges them to step into another person's shoes.
FACTUALITY allows individuals to simulate, discuss and unpack the structural limitations and advantages that coincide with various intersecting identities.
In honor of Juneteenth and to truly celebrate every American's freedom, take one step - one action. Reach out and learn more about FACTUALITY and how this experience can help steer your group in the right direction to progress.