Juneteenth becomes an official state holiday in 2022, providing symbolically important recognition of a pivotal moment in the nation’s promise of racial equality and serving as a necessary reminder of the continuing work still ahead.

Lisa Guerrero.

Like many holidays in the United States, Juneteenth is a celebration that belies historical nuance, said Lisa Guerrero, associate vice president for inclusive excellence and professor of comparative ethnic studies.

“Juneteenth represents a flawed but symbolically important moment when the promise of the Emancipation Proclamation was completed,” Guerrero said.

“With its responsibilities as a land grant institution, WSU must ask how it can make symbolic historical moments teachable and carry us forward,” Guerrero said. “We have to look at how we can increase enrollment of students from marginalized communities, how we can increase hiring of faculty from marginalized communities and how we can think about different research projects and which communities they are serving and impacting.”

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