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Juneteenth and Pride Month: Legacies that look toward justice

Posted June 27, 2022, 4:27 PM

Dear CCA Community,

The month of June hosts two significant spaces for celebration: Pride Month and Juneteenth. We wish to take this opportunity to pause and reflect on the legacies that represent such visibility and bring agency to our ongoing work toward LGBTQIA+ and Black liberation.  

Last year, for the first time in our nation’s history, Juneteenth became officially recognized as a federal holiday. CCA began our acknowledgment in 2020, with thanks to faculty, staff, students, and alumni who contributed to a community-sourced resource guide still active on the Portal. The legislative effort to recognize Juneteenth nationally is to be lauded, but the events that have culminated in this historic moment serve as a constant reminder of the urgency needed to create the conditions by which anti-Black racism will be eradicated. To enjoy this holiday as a “day off,” those of us who most benefit from the painful history of enslavement and disproportionate exploitation of Black labor have a heightened responsibility to take affirmative steps politically and creatively toward an anti-racist future. 

June is also Pride Month, a signature occasion for joy and critical hope. The theme for San Francisco Pride this year is “Love Will Keep Us Together,” which seems a particularly important sentiment during this time of societal divisiveness and lingering physical isolation. From its inception as a commemoration of the Stonewall riots in 1969, Pride espoused a central belief that the LGBTQIA+ community needed access to social environments in which to gather and thrive with respect, inclusion, and dignity. These central tenets included the right and opportunity to fully participate in all institutions, including education, public service, marriage, and healthcare.  While much has been gained, it is alarming to witness the rapidly expansive attacks on legal and social protection of the queer and trans community today–across the nation and globally. Pride is protest, at its core. Participating in Pride is to honor the organizing, resilience, and resistance within our LGBTQIA+ community, and continue to follow the leadership of those who rebelled against state violence to continue advancing gender, racial, and social justice. 

The broad recognition of both Pride and Juneteenth represent progress that should be celebrated. Yet we cannot underestimate the threats to this progress that constantly regenerate. As a college and community, we are committed to the ongoing transformation of our campus culture to be more equitable, just, and welcoming for all. Pride Month and the Juneteenth holiday serve as prisms to reflect on our nation's difficult histories and the milestones of our enduring journey toward true freedom. Let us stay encouraged and persistent. 


Steve Beal, President

Tricia Brand, Vice President, Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging