As a gay man and an avid supporter of all human rights, I’m very proud with the recent SCOTUS decision protecting LGBTQ employees from being disciplined, fired, or turned down for a job based on their sexual orientation. In addition, I am equally proud of the DACA SCOTUS decision. I celebrate the contributions, hard work, and achievements of the LGBTQ community and DREAMers. Not only is fostering an inclusive workforce essential but it is a win for our communities and country as a whole. No one should have to live in fear of being fired because of simply being who they are or who they love. We all should embrace being our full authentic selves. Equally important, no one should be deported from the only home they have ever known. These recent decisions are human right victories. I celebrate, while acknowledging there is still much work to be done.
We at AllThingzAP will work effortlessly to start and continue conversations surrounding inclusion, diversity, race, & racism. In order to move the needle forward, we must have these tough and honest discussions.
This brings me to another important event, Juneteenth. Diversity Inc. recently published an article explaining what is Juneteenth, celebrating Juneteenth, and why emancipation is just the beginning:
What is Juneteenth?
On June 19, 1865, Major General Gordon Granger landed in Galveston, Texas and put into effect the Emancipation Proclamation. With his arrival, he announced that the war had ended and the enslaved were now free. This was more than two and a half years after President Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation. This overdue announcement freed more than 250,000 slaves in Texas.
Now, 155 years later, people in cities across the U.S. continue to remember Juneteenth with celebrations and conversations. Juneteenth is a time for families and friends to come together, break bread, and honor ancestors. In the workplace, you can acknowledge Juneteenth by sharing facts about Black history, leverage guest speakers to discuss historical events and acknowledge the ongoing fight for civil rights and equality. Some organizations leverage or engage their Black employee resource groups and diversity councils to lead the conversations and celebration.
Emancipation is just the beginning.
Juneteenth is widely celebrated, but still not considered a national holiday. This year’s celebration may resonate in new ways given recent events and widespread protests across the U.S. Tragic events including the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and countless others in the past few decades show that more than a century and a half later, systemic racism is still a major issue and freedom and equality continue to be concerns for Black Americans. Celebrating the end of slavery in 1865 should not just occur for one day. It includes continuing to educate yourself and others around you.
Click for details and illustrations about Juneteenth at the National Museum of African American History & Culture
Additionally, I just listened to the The New York Times virtual event, where they discussed the “Historical Roots of the Pandemic’s Racial Disparities.” Watch the full recording here.
Please be cautious, safe, & vigilant during these difficult times. I will end with this quote: