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My Juneteenth commitment

In these difficult times, it's refreshing to see signs of hope and humanity. Two Supreme Court decisions this week affirmed the humanity of some of our most vulnerable communities. Committed Americans took to the streets, day after day, to demand an end to police brutality and a widespread commitment to addressing our country's shameful history of violence against Black people.

Today is Juneteenth, or Freedom Day. On this day in 1865, Union troops secured the emancipation of the 250,000 Black enslaved people in Texas – the last holdout of the Confederacy.

Juneteenth is a day for the people of this country to learn about and challenge our brutal history, take action against the longstanding unjust systems of our country, and support the anti-racist movement guiding the path forward to a more just and equitable future.

White supremacy has deep roots in our nation. For centuries, those roots have strangled Black lives. Tragically, to this day, we see the moral stain of racism throughout our institutions. We see it in our prison system, which holds over two million Americans – 70 percent of whom are Black. We see it in our education system, which interrupts the education of Black children by robbing them of critical access and resources. We see it in boardrooms and executive teams, where Black leaders are sidelined or silenced.

As a white person with privilege, it's my responsibility to invest in the difficult conversations to confront our racist past and fight for an anti-racist future. That means facing the uncomfortable feelings head-on so that we can finally make some long-overdue changes.

Today, on Juneteenth, please show your support and get involved with one of the many events happening in our communities. I'll be speaking at a celebration organized by Respond to Racism LO. If you feel safe doing so, please join the community at Millenium Park in Lake Oswego between 3 and 6 p.m. today.

Moving forward, I ask you to join me in committing to staying informed, taking action, and supporting the crucial anti-racist work to build a safe and equitable future

Let today serve as a reminder of what we're fighting for and what is at stake – not just here in Oregon but across the nation.

In solidarity,


P.S. Please consider making a donation to Respond to Racism LO. Supporting grassroots organizations can make a critical difference in our communities. Donate here.

Posted on June 19, 2020.