A Juneteenth Message from Dr. Zaragoza

Dear CSN Family,

On this day in 1865, in the small city of Galveston, Texas, the news finally reached the people: All slaves are free. Two and a half years after President Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation, and two months after his assassination, there was finally a reason for hope.

Today, Juneteenth gives us a chance to reflect and celebrate, as there is new cause for hope in America. The Black Lives Matter movement did not begin with the death of George Floyd, or Rayshard Brooks, or any of the other recent killings of African Americans by police officers. But it has taken on a new vigor in recent weeks as social justice demonstrations across the country continue.

When this nation was founded, an enduring promise was made: That all of us are created equal. Despite our efforts, we have never lived up to that ideal. Today, as in the past, racism, bigotry, hate and intolerance are far too common in our world. It does not have to be so; it shouldn’t be so.

Juneteenth has never been about celebrating the end of something, but a new beginning on our journey toward a more perfect union. We have an opportunity right now in America for another new beginning. Let us not let it slip through our fingers.

Be safe and God bless.

Federico Zaragoza
College of Southern Nevada

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