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The Legacy of Juneteenth

June 17, 2022

Lasell University Assistant Vice President and Chief Diversity Officer Jesse Tauriac will lead a virtual discussion, “The Legacy of Juneteenth: Access to Education That Empowers Us All,” in a joint program with the Newton Free Library on Tuesday, June 21.  

“I hope that this interactive session leads to a deeper appreciation of the potential of education to empower or disempower minoritized and dominant communities,” says Tauriac. He also aims to provide important context for the current discourse about the ways race, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, and structural and institutional inequities are taught in schools.  

The event will ask participants to reflect on their own experiences as students and consider whose experiences and perspectives were centered or marginalized during their years of schooling, with the goal of acting after the session to support and advance inclusive and culturally responsive education.

In addition to his role at Lasell University, Tauriac is also an active member of the “Overdue: Confronting Race and Racism in Newton” series at the Newton Free Library.  

Juneteenth is the oldest nationally celebrated commemoration of the ending of slavery in the United States. On June 19, 1865, Union Soldiers arrived in Galveston, Texas to inform everyone that the Civil War was had ended and enslaved people were now considered free. Though Abraham Lincoln had signed the Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1963, there were no Union soldiers in Texas to share news of this or enforce the executive order until 1865.