Ohio University

President Nellis issues statement for Juneteenth

Published: June 19, 2020 Author: Staff reports

Ohio University President M. Duane Nellis issued the following statement during the Board of Trustees meeting on June 19, 2020.

I would like to begin my report today by recognizing one of the most important days in American history, Juneteenth. Observed annually on June 19, today marks the 1865 announcement in Galveston, Texas stating that slavery had been abolished more than two and half years earlier.

Juneteenth celebrates African American freedom and emphasizes education, achievement, and the pursuit of social justice. I join the many voices who are calling for Juneteenth to become a federal holiday, officially recognizing the lasting legacies of slavery and helping unify us all in the quest for justice and equality.

As shown by the protests and demonstrations around the country, and here at Ohio University, over the last few weeks, the scars of racial oppression and discrimination run deep and we have a great deal of work to do.

Education is a key driver of social change and progress, and I am proud of the work our students, faculty and staff are doing. Ohio University affirms that Black Lives Matter and strives to be an inclusive community. I call on everyone watching this meeting to join us in embracing the important and ongoing commitment to combating racism and working to promote dignity and respect for everyone.