Friday, Jun 18, 2021
A letter from President Dell'Omo
Dear Students, Faculty and Staff,
Following legislation signed yesterday, today marks the first time ever that Juneteenth will be officially recognized as a federal holiday. This moment is an important occasion for all of us as we continue to reckon with the legacy and ongoing effects of systemic racism across the United States and in our own communities.
Long observed among African Americans, Juneteenth celebrates the emancipation of enslaved Black people in America. It began on June 19, 1865, when federal troops arrived in Galveston, Texas, to issue General Order No. 3. The order announced that in accordance with the Emancipation Proclamation, “all slaves are free.” That December, slavery in America was formally abolished with the ratification of the 13th Amendment.
As the United States celebrates Juneteenth as a federal holiday for the first time, it is important to recognize that there is much more work to be done to have a truly equitable and inclusive world. Rider University is engaged in this work, including through our Inclusive Excellence Plan, and we hope that each of you will be as well.
Rider Libraries has put together a useful resource to learn about and research issues of race, racism and antiracism. As we reflect on the meaning of Juneteenth, I hope each of us will choose to participate in our ongoing education and action to combat racism and create a warm, welcoming and just community at Rider and beyond.
Gregory G. Dell’Omo, Ph.D.