To: The Caltech Community
From: Thomas F. Rosenbaum, President
David A. Tirrell, Provost
Date: June 16, 2022
Next Monday is the formal observation of Juneteenth, a day that marks the June 1865 emancipation of all enslaved people, many of whom had not learned of President Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation when it was issued more than two years prior.
The challenges of transporting news from the nation's capital to the farthest reaches of the land are difficult to appreciate in today's world of instant access to global events. Unfortunately, systemic and political challenges related to the content of the proclamation remain. Juneteenth commemorates the end of slavery in America, celebrates Black culture and accomplishment, and serves to remind us that our work is not yet done. We must be committed to creating a diverse, equitable, and inclusive environment so that all members of our community are able to achieve their full potential, and in so doing, ensure that Caltech remains preeminent.
There are two opportunities ahead of us to reflect on the significance of Juneteenth for our nation and for our community, and to celebrate Black culture and achievement. First, today at 12 p.m., the Caltech Center for Inclusion and Diversity will host a virtual Juneteenth Program featuring Dr. Antonio Banks. Banks is a Watts, California native with expansive experience in student services and educational research. He is currently the Director of Black and Males of Color Success at Compton College, Adjunct Faculty in the African American Studies Department at California State University Fullerton teaching the History of Racism and the Black Man in America, and the Statewide Student Charter Coordinator with the African American Male Education and Network Development organization (A2MEND). You may RSVP for this event here.
Second, on Saturday, June 18 the City of Pasadena will be hosting its 14th annual Juneteenth celebration from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Robinson Park, 1081 N. Fair Oaks Ave.
We invite each of you to enjoy the programming and events on campus and in the community around Juneteenth, and to help make Caltech a welcoming place for all.