SAN DIEGO–The San Diego Unified Board of Education will vote on a resolution recognizing Juneteenth as a holiday “to be observed every year, as a day of celebration of the past, present, and future of Black resilience, culture, and liberation” at its meeting on June 23.
Under the resolution sponsored by Board President Dr. John Lee Evans and Trustee Sharon Whitehurst-Payne, the district calls on educators “to teach the importance of Juneteenth and current movements such as ‘Black Lives Matter’ that advance liberation efforts for the Black community with classroom lessons throughout the year…,”
Representing the longstanding intersection of Black Lives Matter and the LGBTQIA+ civil rights movement, a widespread spirit of civic action is taking place throughout San Diego Unified during Pride Month, triggered in part by the death of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer.
The district will raise the Black Lives Matter flag, along with the Pride and Trans flags, at the Eugene Brucker Education Center on Monday, June 22.
The intersection of Pride and Black Lives Matter is deeply rooted in history. Juneteenth recognizes that on June 19th, 1865, Union soldiers arrived in Galveston, Texas and enforced the Emancipation Proclamation two and a half years after it was issued by President Abraham Lincoln, freeing the final African-American slaves. Pride Month started in recognition of the Stonewall Riots, which was a movement against police violence, including aggression targeting the LGBTQIA community, led by Black Trans women in New York City. San Diego Unified moves to commemorate both movements.
Understanding that there is much more work to be done, students throughout San Diego are making their voices heard.
“I think that this is long overdue…,” said Kai’Jah Peterson, a freshman at San Diego School of Creative and Performing Arts. “All being considered, I am grateful that we are taking a step in the right direction.”
Kai’Jah participates in the Depositing Empowerment Through Outreach and Urban Development’s (D.E.T.O.U.R) Focused and Naturally Confident Youth (F.A.N.C.Y.) programs.
Tuesday’s board meeting will be broadcast live and can be found on the district’s YouTube channel.