AACTE will close its offices tomorrow in recognition of Juneteenth, which honors the day when Union troops arrived in Galveston Bay, Texas, to enforce the 1863 Emancipation Proclamation. Until that day, June 19, 1865, Black men, women, and children in Texas remained enslaved, despite the provisions of the Emancipation Proclamation. Juneteenth, as named by the newly freed citizens, is celebrated annually on June 19. Congress voted this week to make Juneteenth a federal holiday.
AACTE staff pauses its work to reflect on the violence, including murder, that our Black, Latinx, Native American, Asian-American Pacific-Islander, and Transgendered populations are particularly experiencing, in addition to the long history of violence against these groups of people. AACTE condemns, in the strongest terms, this violence and invites all its colleagues to work together to create a society in which no one should fear for their lives based on the color of their skin or gender identity.
AACTE believes that all also must work together to eliminate institutional racism, which plagues our nation and our educational system. As the Association that represents educator preparation programs that prepare the next generation of teachers, AACTE is leading the way. Through conferences, webinars, public statements, and other tools, AACTE works to affect change by advocating for diversity, equity, and inclusion, engaging in critical conversations about race, and countering the abhorrent impact racism and discrimination continue to have upon our society.