WHAT IS JUNETEENTH?
Juneteenth (short for “June Nineteenth”) marks the day when federal troops arrived in Galveston, Texas in 1865 to take control of the state and ensure that all enslaved people be freed. The troops’ arrival came a full two and a half years after the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation. Juneteenth honors the end to slavery in the United States and is considered the longest-running African American holiday.
For more information, visit History.com.
The Yolo County Library system provides services to the communities of Clarksburg, Davis, Esparto, Knights Landing, West Sacramento, Winters, and Yolo with an archives, records and local historical collection in Woodland. Since 2008, our organization’s leadership has focused on strengthening its team to include individuals with a strong compassion for developing intentional services to underprivileged groups who commonly experience discrimination, inequity, and exclusion. Our system recognizes that the root causes of disparities within marginalized populations is due to the unbalanced power structure of our nation’s political and socio-economic system. We understand this system predominately favors neurotypical fully-abled White people as opposed to the many individuals with visible diversity such as non-white cultural and ethnic communities, any person with adverse abilities and many individuals from LGBTQIA+ communities. While those in marginalized communities can improve their life conditions and are lawfully allowed to participate in the same opportunities, the path to success is filled with inequitable disadvantages, mental stress, and obstacles such as enduring microaggressions, biases, adverse experiences, isolation and systemic barriers.
Our staff strive towards a future where all people regardless of race, ethnicity, nationality, gender, sexuality, religion, disability, citizen status or political views, have equitable access to basic needs, education, child care, healthy food and water, healthcare, employment, democracy, sufficient housing, safety, and sufficient cost of living. We stand in solidarity for everyone’s human rights and the freedom of ideas, but the exclusion of hate. Central to our belief, as custodians of knowledge, is the right to free access to information, the right to read for enjoyment and education, and the right to choose what to read without infringing on the choices of others.
Yolo County Library focuses on, but is not limited to, the following call to actions:
Promoting the principles of equity, diversity and inclusion by sharing and celebrating the uniqueness of all people
Providing materials with culturally diverse, LGBTQIA+ diverse, neurodiverse and different abled characters where individuals in these communities can see themselves as protagonists with stories beyond the adversity of their condition.
Assisting marginalized community members with navigating civil and bureaucratic processes in order to obtain the human services they need
Hosting community celebrations that teach about different kinds of people, their cultures and histories while strengthening intercultural community relationships
Helping the community understand and develop empathy towards underserved individuals experiencing economic disparities.
Educating its staff to be culturally competent and
Providing support that connects people with resources to basic needs and life skills to become functional citizens in society
Yolo Juneteenth has been an annual tradition with Yolo County Library since 2011 to help celebrate and remember the story of the Black and African American peoples’ freedom from enslavement in the United States. Originally under the direction of community advocate Sandy Holman (lovingly known as “The Purple Lady”) until 2022, the library continues to be one of the events’ main organizers for Yolo Juneteenth.
UC Davis is committed to diversity because it is vital to our mission and enhances educational excellence. As we strive to meet the growth goals of the UC Davis 2020 Initiative, the significant increase in enrollment corresponds with an opportunity to develop a more diverse community of scholars. A clear plan will move UC Davis toward its goal of inclusion excellence, meaning the condition in which all members of a community are encouraged and supported to work, study, and learn in a way that allows each of us to reach our full potential. UC Davis strives to create an environment where everyone feels included and heard. The well-being of our university community depends on all of us feeling free to respectfully express ourselves and on our willingness to listen to one another, even during disagreements. With the UC Diversity Statement and UC Davis Principles of Community as guides, we have defined a set of goals, objectives, and recommended action items that provide a framework for UC Davis to achieve its diversity and inclusion goals.
Diversity and Inclusion Vision for UC Davis:
GOAL 1: Identify, attract, retain, and graduate a diverse student body.
GOAL 2: Identify, attract and retain a diverse faculty and staff.
GOAL 3: Advance a climate that fosters inclusion excellence.
GOAL 4: Promote diversity and inclusion in research, teaching, public service, and training across campus and in neighboring communities.
GOAL 5: Ensure accountability to diversity and inclusion efforts on campus and in serving neighboring communities.
For more information please visit: https://diversity.sf.ucdavis.edu/about/strategic-plan/executive-summary
Umoja is the Yolo County’s Black and African American Diaspora work group. It is one of five affinity groups of Yolo County branching from the Health & Human Services Agency Cultural Competency Committee. Most often associated with the seven Kwanzaa principles, Umoja is the principle defined as unity. According to the National Museum of African American History and Culture, Umoja is the act of striving for and maintaining "unity in the family, community, nation and race (The Seven Principles of Kwanzaa).
We provide Black American and African Diasporic community professionals a safe and secure space to be themselves and speak authentically without White and/or other cultural groups’ judgement and insecurities.
Umoja acts as a refuge for Black employees working in predominately White spaces by invariably constraining, compromising, and accommodating their look, speech, actions and personality (see code switching) in order to seem safe so that White (and sometimes other cultural groups) feel more comfortable around us. The space allows for us to find solidarity, feel visible and be heard in the company of others experiencing the same microaggressions daily.
We respond to the mental necessity for Black people as human beings to find themselves in other Black people and connect with other Black people working in Yolo County.
Having only 3.2% of the population in the County, and spread across multiple job industries, the Black community is often isolated from one another in the professional setting. Umoja allows for opportunities to meet other professionals and seek support and mentorship from those who lead in other areas. Studies have shown that lack of seeing ourselves in leadership roles greatly affects the ability for Black people to have the trustful mentorship needed to raise themselves in higher positions.
We prioritize issues and create programs of need for the Black population in Yolo County such as building community resilience, creating spaces for healing, providing personal development opportunities, providing legal assistance and addressing unjust policies.
The group regularly organizes and support each other’s community events created to uplift the Black population. These programs include spaces for Black youth, expungement clinics, cultural celebrations and family days, and brake light repair clinics. In addition, we address ways to provide resources to the various call to actions affecting the Black community.