Juneteenth Statement by the CAMWS Ad-hoc Committee on Diversity and Inclusion

The CAMWS Ad-hoc Committee on Diversity and Inclusion affirms the following statement:

On this, the 155th anniversary of Juneteenth - the moment in 1865 when enslaved black peoples in Galveston, Texas were finally informed of their freedom - we aver the basic, human right to life and liberty for all peoples of African descent.

Acknowledging that Black Lives Matter is the first step in bringing recognition to the struggles of past generations and their manifold contributions to the history, heroic tales, and art of the last four hundred years.

We mourn the lives of all those destroyed by inhumane violence, greatly regretting the loss of those in the CAMWS regions, among them: Rayshard Brooks (6.11.2020, Georgia), George Floyd (5.25.2020, Minnesota), Breonna Taylor (3.13.2020, Kentucky), Ahmaud Arbery (2.23.2020, Georgia), thousands of others since the death of Michael Brown (8.9.2014, Missouri), and millions during slavery, post-Reconstruction and thereafter.

We confess and repent the role of our own field in having both purposefully and unintentionally harbored and contributed to racism in the past and in the present; we stand in support of our African American and African diaspora colleagues, friends, and neighbors; we seek to listen and learn from them as we strive to find ways to atone for our past and present failures to achieve true equality and justice; and we pledge them our help in word and in deed now and in the future.

We encourage all CAMWS members to show solidarity with African Americans and those of African descent everywhere by speaking up and by supporting groups engaged in working toward equality and justice--today on Juneteenth, and every day