By The ODI Advisory Committee June 16, 2020

Dear CIIS Community,

Thank you for your commitment so far in supporting the Black community and engaging in Black antiracist work beyond just this moment. The Office of Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Committee invites you to reflect on anti-Blackness in this country’s history and in the present moment, and to actively engage in the work to end racism against Black people.

As you might know, Juneteenth is coming up on Friday, June 19, 2020Juneteenth is a holiday recognized by all but three U.S. states to celebrate the day that the last Black slaves were liberated in the United States. 

Although CIIS has not celebrated this holiday in the past, the ODI Advisory Committee will honor the day this year and each year moving forward, and the Office of Diversity and Inclusion will be closed this Friday in observation of Juneteenth 2020. 

Some recommendations for ways that we can all honor Juneteenth are found below:

  • Use one of your floating holidays (which must be used by 6/30!) to take Friday off as a day to celebrate and reflect.

  • Make additional donations to support racial justice and equity. 

  • Purchase meals and goods for the day from a Black-owned business.

  • Offer meals and support to Black friends and families. 

  • Educate and inspire yourself with these materials from the CIIS Library. 

  • Join the first in a series of ODI Teach-Ins on Institutional Equity and Antiracism, Tuesday, June 23, 1:00-2:30 pm. Please use this zoom link. The password is: 904690.

  • If you are in a position of power or leadership at CIIS, support your staff in taking this Friday off work, and raise the issue of institutionalizing Juneteenth as an official CIIS holiday. Thank you for devoting time on Juneteeth to reflect and remember what racial injustice in the Black community means for us today. Let us know your thoughts and if you have other suggestions for ways that we can move forward on this: email

Thank you,

The ODI Advisory Committee

Office of Diversity

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