June 19th marks an important day in our collective history. Known as Juneteenth, the day recognizes that on June 19th, 1865 Union soldiers, led by Major General Gordon Granger, landed at Galveston, Texas with news that the war had ended and that the enslaved were now free. Note that this was two and a half years after President Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation - which had become official January 1, 1863.
Although this day has been celebrated by the black community, it still remains largely unknown to the wider public. I encourage you to take a few moments to further educate yourself on this most important event in our Nation's history.
The National Museum of African American Culture at the Smithsonian says "the legacy of Juneteenth shows "the value of deep hope and urgent organizing in uncertain times."
We are certainly immersed in uncertain times and it is my deep hope that you join me in committing to doing our part to end the oppressive history of racism in this country.
How can we do this? It won't be easy but those of us that work in Athletics didn't choose it because it was easy. We are used to competing, to overcoming long odds, to working as a team. And collectively, with great effort and commitment, I believe we can make a difference.
As an important thread in the fabric of UC Santa Barbara, we must do our part in educating and enriching the lives of our students and helping make the world a better place.
While Juneteenth is not an official holiday, any athletics department employee who wishes to take a personal vacation day in observance of this most important event will be given the opportunity to do so.
Director of Athletics