Recast | Juneteenth Gratitudes & Video
From: “Saliba, Therese” <SalibaT@evergreen.edu>
Date: Wednesday, June 16, 2021 at 10:30 AM
As the official Juneteenth (June 19th) approaches this weekend, I am writing to offer my heartfelt thanks to all who contributed to our third annual Juneteenth commemoration on Friday, June 4th. It was a wonderful event, driven by the transformative energy of our brilliant Black community members. The recording of this inspiring event can be found here.
I offer thanks to Dr. Marcia Tate Arunga, Dean of Evergreen Tacoma, and Merrill Pusey, Multicultural Initiatives Coordinator, for co-hosting the program with their characteristic skill, vitality, and love. They created a warm, inviting virtual space for our community to come together and share this important commemoration of the emancipation of enslaved people in the US and the ongoing struggle for Black liberation.
Thanks also to our guests, Representative Melanie Morgan, who was the prime sponsor of the legislation making Juneteenth a statewide holiday, and Dr. Karen Johnson, Director of the new Washington State Office of Equity and Evergreen MPA faculty. They spoke powerfully and with unwavering commitment to dismantling racism and economic injustice through bold action and revolutionary change. They also emphasized the need for education, recognition, and reparations for the long history of anti-Black violence and how our collective celebration of Juneteenth is critically important for reconciliation and community resilience. Thanks to Jeremy Mohn, Director of Government Relations, for facilitating our connection to both of these remarkable leaders.
Many thanks to our student visual arts presenters for their inspiring works of painting, photography, and film: Dionne Bonner, Anthony Tackett, and Robbie Wood of Tacoma; and De’Ja Marshall and Lauren Weiss of Olympia. Thanks also to Allen Thompson, Director of Academic & Career Advising, and Tacoma student Robbie Wood for their stirring gifts of music, and to Trey Appelgate and Tarah Baker, Technical Assistants at Evergreen Tacoma, for their production and technical support.
A special thanks goes out to Chico Herbison, recently retired from Evergreen’s faculty, whom we celebrated as an Elder of Impact. We are grateful for his many years as a transformative educator and beloved mentor, and we continue to be inspired by his astounding legacy, his deep dedication, and his unshakeable compassion.
It was a pleasure to serve on the Juneteenth planning group with talented colleagues: Carl Forbes, Associate Director for Multicultural Recruitment; Tarah Baker; Marcia Tate Arunga; Jackie McClenny, Administrative Assistant; and Merrill Pusey.
In Community and Solidarity,
Therese Saliba, Ph.D.
Interim VP of Inclusive Excellence & Student Success
The Evergreen State College | Olympia, WA 98505