- Author: Pamela Kan-Rice
The Black and Allied Employees hosted a webinar on June 14 to celebrate Juneteenth, the day when the last people held hostage under chattel slavery learned of their freedom — more than two years after the Emancipation Proclamation was issued.
Mary Blackburn, Ph.D., UC Cooperative Extension family and consumer sciences health and nutrition advisor in Alameda County, and Keith Nathaniel, Ed.D., 4-H youth development advisor and director of UCCE in Los Angeles County, described their educational and career journeys in agriculture and extension.
The hour-long discussion was moderated by Chandra Richards, UCCE agricultural land acquisitions academic coordinator serving San Bernardino, Riverside and San Diego counties, and organized by the Black and Allied Employees employee resource group.
Blackburn and Nathaniel related how their experiences shape their work and how their lives connect to current patterns of inequity.
Blackburn, who grew up in the Deep South and began her career in the turbulent 1960s, recalled being fired twice when Bay Area hospital administrators realized she was Black. But she found allies and advocates along her career path. After joining UC ANR in Alameda County in 1990, Dr. B, as she is affectionately called by colleagues, built a diverse team of educators – Black, Latino and Asian – who she credits for the success UCCE has had in accessing people in jail, transitional homes and public housing to provide education.
Nathaniel, who joined UC ANR in 1994, described some of the institutional challenges he has had to overcome as a 4-H advisor to serve Black youth. In Los Angeles County, members of the public don't understand that urban children can benefit from 4-H programs, he said. Nathaniel also pointed out that racism persists in subtle as well as overt ways. On search committees, he advises colleagues to be specific rather than describing a candidate as “not a good fit.”
Learn more about Blackburn and Nathaniel's experiences by viewing a recording of the Juneteenth webinar at https://youtu.be/yJ4Oo-VkgAE.
- Author: Elizabeth Moon
Celebrations abound in June: Graduations- Juneteenth- Pride Month - ANR postcard contest winners!
For myself, I look forward to this time to reflect on an academic/fiscal year and the promise of a summer to dive deeper and set the pathways for creating more opportunities to grow.
With Juneteenth next week, I am looking forward to reflecting with our Black and Allied Employees Resource Group on their Webinar on June 14 (10:30 - 12:00 pm) to hear from Dr. Mary Blackburn and Dr. Keith Nathaniel.They will describe their journeys in agriculture and extension, how their experiences shape their work, and how their lives connect to present patterns of inequity that are commonly believed to be a thing of the past. (zoom: https://ucanr.zoom.us/j/99024484120?pwd=b3hkeXBiMEhRNWJ1a1VrOWhVdHZFdz09 | Meeting ID: 990 2448 4120 | Passcode: 092774)
If you happen to be in the Bay area here is a list of 200+ Black-owned restaurants I helped to curate last year: 200+ Black-owned Restaurants Across The Bay Area.
In celebration of Pride, Ricardo Vela created this video celebrating the strides that have been made so far for LGBTQ+ rights. I also want to recognize that while we celebrate the advancements made, it is important to continue the progress and act to protect these rights. https://youtube.com/shorts/5CeomH5adO0?feature=share
2023 POSTCARD CONTEST WINNERS (photos of the postcards will be published soon).
- ThomasHarter, PHD, Department of Land, Air, and Water Resources, Cooperative Extension
- Picture: Muted Colors of Browns and Blues
- Matthew Rodriguez, 4-H Youth DevelopmentAdvisor (Nevada, Placer, Sutter, Yuba)
- Picture: Heart with the words Diversity, Equity & Inclusion
- Elizabeth Bezark, Customer Service & Project Assistant, Business Operations - Davis
- Picture: Two trees in yellows and blues with roots intertwined with the words Diversity, Equity, Inclusion
- Bridgette Alvarez, Program and Events Specialist, Program Support Unit
- Picture: Earth with many people holding hands
- KelseyDugan, 4-H Community Education Specialist,UCCE San LuisObispo
- Picture: Ink drawing of crops with the words Diversity & Inclusion not just for enhancing our crops & soil
- SaoimanuSope, Digital Communication Specialist, Strategic Communications
- Picture: A variety of hairstyles with vibrant colors of blues, yellows, pink, brown and black
This will be a monthly update of ideas and challenges shared anonymously with me and the status of these requests.
Gender Unicorn by Trans Student Educational Resources (An educational, interactive resource exploring the spectra of gender identity, gender expression, sex assigned at birth, and emotional and physical orientations.
Once I have our website up and running there will be a special link to resources such as this.
Webpage Language Change Request
Worked with HR and Changed our Diversity Gender Inclusion page to the title: LGBTQIA+ Inclusion
Other requests submitted have been resolved through personal conversations with leadership and/or I am actively working with others to find ways to address the challenge shared.
DO YOU HAVE AN IDEA OR CHALLENGE?
Interested in sharing ideas and challenges? Please visit the following feedback form: https://forms.gle/AWCinz3MYWGhzH5n9
Wish to discuss an issue directly with me, email: email@example.com , call 530-883-1174 (Ext 1612) or connect with me in-person.
- Author: Pamela Kan-Rice
UC ANR employees are invited to join the UCOP Black Staff & Faculty Organization for a Juneteenth week of events!
More information and an event flyer (PDF) can be found on the UCOP page.
The UC ANR Black and Allied Employees are also hosting a "Celebrating Juneteenth" event on June 14, from 10:30 a.m. to noon, featuring Dr. Mary Blackburn and Dr. Keith Nathaniel (see Zoom information in event listings below).
Monday, June 12
Come learn about the significance of Juneteenth.
David H. Anthony III, professor emeritus of African History at UC Santa Cruz, will delve into the significance and history of Juneteenth, exploring its roots and its importance in American culture.
Join via Zoom https://ucop.zoom.us/j/93634417310#success
936 3441 7310
Tuesday, June 13
Join Cheryl Grills, Ph.D., as she discusses the meaning and importance of reparations, including the history of reparations in America. She will also provide information on how to support tangible reparations for American Descendants of Slavery.
Join via Zoom https://ucop.zoom.us/j/98089055733#success
962 5244 6327
Wednesday, June 14
Join UC ANR Black and Allied Employees as we learn about the lives of Dr. Keith Nathaniel and Dr. Mary Blackburn — including their journeys in agriculture and extension, how their experiences shape their work, and how their lives connect to present patterns of inequity that are commonly believed to be a thing of the past.
Meeting ID: 990 2448 4120
iPhone one-tap: +1669444917, 99024484120#, or +16699006833, 99024484120# US (San Jose)
Telephone (US): +1 669 900 6833
Wednesday, June 14
Kristin Nimmers from the California Black Power Network will speak about the importance of voting and voting rights.
Join via Zoom: https://ucop.zoom.us/j/98089055733#success
980 8905 5733
"Ferguson Rises" Film Screening
Thursday, June 15
Join UC colleagues for a special movie screening of "Ferguson Rises," followed by a thought-provoking discussion with esteemed speakers who will explore the themes and issues presented in the film.
In-person at Broadway Conference Center in Oakland or join via Zoom:
912 1559 5154
Yesterday was a historic moment as President Biden signed into law Juneteenth as a federal holiday! The Black community has long celebrated Juneteenth marking the day news of the Emancipation Proclamation reached Blacks in Texas on June 19, 1865 – two and a half years after it was signed by President Lincoln. Today President Drake announced UC will celebrate on June 28 this year (see below). Also today, we held our first ANR Juneteenth celebration in which Chico State University Prof. Lesa A. Johnson offered a powerful keynote speech; among other vital points she said, “Celebration is hollow unless you recognize the struggle.” Additionally, ANR's own Dr. Mary Blackburn provided poignant remarks touching on “Freedom Is Not Free.”
Juneteenth is an important day in American history not only to celebrate the end of slavery, but to acknowledge the great injustices done to Black people in this country. While we celebrate the emancipation of slaves on Juneteenth, it's a reminder we must continue to strive to provide equity for Black members of our community in order for all of us to experience freedom in the same way.
We have begun to take steps within ANR to improve access, equity and a feeling of belonging. As example, UCCE small farms advisors are working with Black farmers in the San Joaquin Valley, ANR's urban agriculture advisors are serving on food policy councils to create a more hospitable environment for urban farmers, and our employee affinity groups have been offering great educational opportunities on the realities and challenges that many continue to face. We need to build on these, our UC ANR Principles of Community, and other initiatives, to find more ways ANR can better serve.
As we contemplate that, I encourage you to read some perspectives offered today in the New York Times. Kevin Young, director of the National Museum of African American History and Culture, offers: “African Americans should not have to bear the burden of this history alone, …Nor should Black achievement be something that only African Americans celebrate.” But he also argues that the holiday can be good only if it can retain its essential character as a Black holiday: one that is “both serious and playful,” one in which we “cook and laugh while we remember, remaining rooted in tradition while telling the full story of America and Black life in it.”
Kaitlyn Greenidge, a NYT Opinion contributing writer, is more ambivalent about Juneteenth becoming a national holiday. As she points out in her essay today, different parts of the country have their own specific histories of emancipation and their own traditions associated with them. Those histories shouldn't be forgotten, Greenidge argues, because they “are a reminder that freedom in this country has never meant the same thing to everyone, has definitely never been experienced the same, and has always been conditional.”
These two opinion pieces offer perspective to what some are treating as completed achievement, rather than as a symbol of progress upon a road that still requires much work. Please give these essays a read as you expand your knowledge on Juneteenth and all ongoing challenges facing Black communities today. Moving forward, we'll be working with the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Advisory Council to collect ideas and enhance our delivery of the DEI mission.
Best wishes and have a great weekend, Glenda
June 18, 2021
TO THE UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA COMMUNITY
Yesterday President Biden declared a federal holiday for Juneteenth, the day that celebrates and commemorates the end of slavery in the United States. This is an historic moment for our nation — 156 years in the making.
Celebrated on the 19th of June, Juneteenth, also known as Jubilee Day, Liberation Day and Freedom Day, marks the day in 1865 that enslaved people in Texas learned they were free. This news was delivered two and a half years after President Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation became law.
I intend to immediately add this to the University of California's calendar of holidays. This year we will observe this holiday on Monday, June 28th. Starting in 2022, we will celebrate the Juneteenth holiday according to the federal calendar.
As we approach June 19th, I invite you to join me in reflecting on our nation's history, the horrors of centuries of bondage, and the difficult road from liberation to equality. Let us resolve to build a future representing and lifted up by our ideals, our values, and our best selves.
Michael V. Drake, M.D.
UC ANR and the entire UC community are dedicated to helping create the open and equitable society to which we are all entitled. As we stand with the global outcry against the senseless, tragic murders of Black Americans, we are exploring new paths we can take to support our communities during this time and into the future.
To help us discover those new paths, resources have been created and compiled by colleagues throughout UC to promote dialogue, understanding, connection and healing. You can find UC ANR resources on our Diversity • Equity • Inclusion webpage. There, you can also find resources for confronting gender and sexuality bias, and we are working to add resources that address the breadth of diversity, equity and inclusion challenges in our organization. We welcome suggestions for additional resources to include. Please email suggestions to DEI@ucanr.edu.
Today is Juneteenth, widely celebrated in African American communities as “Freedom Day” or “Emancipation Day,” to mark the date of June 19, 1865, when the federal orders were read by Union Colonel Gordon Granger in Galveston, Texas, informing more than 250,000 still-enslaved Blacks that they had their freedom. The notice came to slaves in the state of Texas more than two years after President Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation, which became official on January 1, 1863.
On this important day, we are reflecting on our country, its treatment of Black, brown and Native American peoples, and how UC values can help guide us into the future. We must continue to reflect on how our institutions and our culture treat people of color as well as religious minorities, the LGBTQ+ community, and all those who don't fit into dominant cultural norms. Our mission can never fully come to fruition if historically victimized groups continue to suffer hatred and bias. All of us at UC ANR are deeply committed to our mission and will work to build a healthy, peaceful and prosperous California for all.
In recognition of Juneteenth, please feel free to cease work today at 3 p.m. and encourage your staff to do so, work permitting. Take some time for reflection. Get a head start on time with your friends and loved ones. Or, just take a nap. We all need to take care of ourselves in these trying times.
Stay safe and have a wonderful weekend!