Honoring Juneteenth

June 19, 2020

“To me, Juneteenth matters because it says: Keep going, the future you want is coming.” – Veronica Chambers, Author
 
Dear Colleagues,
 
We are in the midst of a somber moment in the United States; one that calls for both reflection and action. It is in this climate that we recognize how far we have come, while acknowledging how far we have left to go. Today, we join Americans across the country who honor, observe, mourn, and learn on this Juneteenth holiday,
 
On June 19, 1865, enslaved African-Americans in Galveston, Texas finally learned that they were free, more than two years after President Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation was issued, and two months after the Confederacy’s surrender ended the Civil War.
 
It is important to note it is not day of the Emancipation Proclamation, nor is it the day that Robert E. Lee surrendered, that we celebrate as “Freedom Day,” but rather June 19. 

That is because no enslaved person was free until all enslaved people were free.
 
It is in this context that we acknowledge Juneteenth today.
 
All lives cannot matter until Black lives matter.
 
Education plays a vital role in the fight against systemic racism and bigotry. This includes your work as educators, and AMS's as your Montessori organization. We will share more information with you about our efforts in this arena as it develops.

And, I invite you to join me this Juneteenth, and in the days to come, in continued reflection on the significance of the holiday, and how we can contribute to justice and equity.

Respectfully,

Munir Shivji
Executive Director