VEA Applauds Northam Decision on Juneteenth, to Close Offices Friday
June 18, 2020
June 18, 2020
Contact: John O’Neil, VEA Communications, at 804-775-8316
Virginia Education Association President Jim Livingston made the following statement today about Governor Northam’s designation of June 19 as a state holiday for reflection:
The VEA strongly supports and applauds Governor Northam’s designation of June 19 as a state holiday for commemoration and reflection. VEA also is recognizing the date by closing its office and giving employees the day off in honor of the date and what it signifies.
On this day, we call on all Virginians to reflect on the importance of this date marking when the very last enslaved people learned that they were free, more than two years after President Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation. Further, we call on everyone to work toward a just society free of institutional racism and bias.
VEA’s 40,000 members and its staff, working in our public schools and in support roles, strive to help students better understand our shared history and bring about a better tomorrow. Social and racial justice work must be our priority, matched by our dedication, perseverance, and passion. We owe that to our students, to ourselves, and to all Virginians.
For more information about Juneteenth and how to teach about it, VEA suggests, as a starting point, “Teaching Juneteenth,” in Teaching Tolerance.