"May we honor today with a personal commitment to the national and global fight for racial justice," President LeBlanc writes in message to GW community.
To the George Washington University Community:
Today, we commemorate Juneteenth, which marks the day, on June 19, 1865, that Union Gen. Gordon Granger arrived in Galveston, Texas, to announce that enslaved Black people were free, after the Civil War ended and more than two years after the Emancipation Proclamation.
In recognizing the significance of this day, we reflect on the importance of continued progress toward achieving true racial equality. This year, especially, we are reminded that we have much more to do, in the wake of the senseless killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Rayshard Brooks, and others, to dismantle the systemic racism that Black people experience in every aspect of life.
Our community has come together, through our #GWInSolidarity programs, to process and to share, to teach and to learn, and to find meaningful ways to move forward. I have joined in these and other conversations discussing racism and bias, and I have learned from our community about the importance of both our words and our actions. May we honor today with a personal commitment to the national and global fight for racial justice and ongoing assessment of our work toward that aspiration. We can begin by analyzing everything we do through that lens: faculty and staff hiring, enrollment of students, retention and development of all, and attentive stewardship of our community.
Each of us has a role to play in moving GW closer to our aspiration of being a truly antiracist community. May we, as an institution, continue to use our academic and research missions to educate and advocate, in service of creating a more just world for all.
Thomas J. LeBlanc