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Campus News

Juneteenth, Voices With Impact, & Pride

Find information about and links for Juneteenth and Pride Month events taking place in June 2023

Damali Robertson June 16, 2023

Greetings CIIS Community,

We’re in planning mode here at the Division of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. We have lots of wonderful plans taking shape for Fall 2023 and will share more about that as the beginning of the semester approaches. Until then, we’d like to tell you about three special offerings in June:

  1. Juneteenth Festivities across the Bay Area including a workshop facilitated by CIIS Professor Emerita, Arisika Razak;
  2. The Voices With Impact Film Festival which is free for CIIS students; and
  3. Our upcoming Pride Panel featuring CIIS faculty and staff Anna Benassi, A.J. Phipps, Rin Munford, Kelly Sundin, and Butterfly Williams. I’ll be moderating the panel. Read on to learn more.


June 19th is Juneteenth. Juneteenth commemorates the day enslaved people in Galveston, TX learned about their freedom. Emancipation was formerly signed into law on January 1, 1863. This law ended enslavement on the books. However, more than 250,000 enslaved people were not aware of this legislative change. On June 19th 1865, the news of their freedom was delivered, beginning the ongoing quest for justice, equality, and equity that continues today. Black communities and people throughout the US have long celebrated Juneteenth as our “independence day.” It was made a federal holiday by President Joe Biden in 2021. However, even well-meaning acts can become performative. In the Division of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, we recognize the commercialization and commodification that can happen with holidays like Juneteenth and encourage you to remember the significant origins of this day.

If you are a person of African Descent, there is a special in-person workshop on Saturday, June 17th, being hosted by Arisika Razak, CIIS Professor Emerita, Women’s Spirituality; Valerie Chafograck, Movement Liberation; and Sarah Cromwell, Othering & Belonging Institute.

Register for the workshop

Here is a list of other Bay Area Juneteenth events you can attend. If you’re in the US and outside of the Bay Area, there are likely tons of events in your area.

Voices With Impact

The fifth annual Voices With Impact Virtual Film Festival will premiere 10 new short films from 10 brilliant filmmakers: five covering the impacts of burnout and five focusing on the impact of climate change on mental health. These premieres will be followed by a week of screenings, filmmaker Q&As, guest programs, and more. The film festival has collaborated with talented filmmakers to develop sessions that facilitate crucial discussions on the epidemics of climate change and burnout, both of which represent a particular state of emergency for the welfare of people and the earth we inhabit.

CIIS students and faculty, you are invited to experience the power of film at the Voices With Impact Film Festival (June 26-30), showcasing stories of resilience and environmental action. CIIS students attend for free!

Register for the Voices with Impact Film Festival


June is Pride Month. We’re convening a panel of CIIS faculty and staff to celebrate Pride. Join us on Friday, June 30th from 2:00-3:30pm. In our time together, we will talk about the anti-LGBTQIA+ legislation spreading across the country, sharing the ways each of us can support LBTQIA+ communities and the people most impacted by these laws. We will also talk about the power of Pride. Even in the face of legislative attacks and growing propaganda, LGBTQIA+ communities and people are resisting and standing for a more inclusive, just, and equitable society.

Register for the Pride Panel

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