Juneteenth is celebrated each year on June 19. I will admit that, while I had heard of Juneteenth, until this year, I didn’t know exactly what this day was really about. Juneteenth commemorates the day, June 19, 1865, when General Gordon Granger arrived in Galveston, Texas, to proclaim that all slaves in Texas were now free. That day was almost two and a half years after the Emancipation Proclamation had freed all slaves; however, because Texas was the most remote of all the slave states, enforcement of the Proclamation had been inconsistent. On June 19, that changed.
We join in the celebration of that event while also recognizing that the promises made at that time have gone largely unfulfilled. What is happening across the country — and the world for that matter — is a call to action. It is a call to create a country that offers equal opportunity, equal protection, and equal access to the pursuit of happiness. With this in mind there are three things that SHC is committing to:
- Every person who values inclusion is welcome into our community.
- Condemning intolerance. Bigotry, discrimination and any other form of hatred will never be tolerated.
- Standing up against injustice. Complacency and silence only feeds the problem, taking a position and having a voice moves the conversations forward.
As a company, I am proud of the fact that SHC is an organization that is broadly diverse, which we view as one of our greatest strengths, but we can do more. We also need to answer the call to action.
As a starting point, Supplemental Health Care will be making a donation to the Equal Justice Initiative (www.eji.org). We also know we need to do more to, as Ibram X. Kendi says, become anti-racist. One of the things I’m doing is trying to better educate myself and I’m starting with a new reading and podcast list that I wanted to share with anyone who is interested (see below).
By better educating ourselves, by committing to being anti-racist, by challenging each other on how we can put action behind our words, I know we can help create a better tomorrow.
Chairman of the Board
- How to be an Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi
- White Fragility by Robin DiAngelo
- So You Want to Talk about Race by Ijeoma Oluo
- The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander
- Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson (founder of the Equal Justice Initiative)
- 1619 (New York Times)
- About Race
- Code Switch (NPR)
- Intersectionality Matters! hosted by Kimberlé Crenshaw
- Momentum: A Race Forward Podcast
- Pod for the Cause (from The Leadership Conference on Civil & Human Rights)
- Pod Save the People (Crooked Media)
- Seeing White