June 10, 2021
Warmest greetings and good morning! I write to you today in celebration and acknowledgement of Juneteenth, a special holiday of liberation first celebrated in Texas marking the 1865 day when enslaved Africans were read federal orders freeing them under the Emancipation Proclamation of 1863.
Known as Emancipation Day or Liberation Day to many across the country, it marks the last place in the South that freedom touched. This special day was recognized in 2006 by the state of Ohio, and only Hawaii, North Dakota, and South Dakota have failed to make it an official holiday among our 50 states. As a Black man who grew up in the rural South, this has always been a day of joy and remembrance, a time to enjoy family gatherings, and neighborhood cookouts while honoring my ancestors who suffered so much.
This year's holiday comes roughly a year after a public outcry in our society over police brutality and racial justice led to the largest civil rights demonstration in the history of our country. While the fruits of that struggle have yet to be fully realized, I am still proud of the work that the Office of Diversity and Inclusion (ODI) is doing to create a more progressive and inclusive future at our beloved The Ohio State University and beyond.
Thank you for all you do to make inclusive excellence a priority.
James L. Moore III, PhD
Vice Provost for Diversity and Inclusion and Chief Diversity Officer
Executive Director, Bell National Resource Center
Distinguished Professor of Urban Education, College of Education and Human Ecology