Tufts Marks Juneteenth with a Day of Reflection, Commitment, and Action

The event will feature keynote speaker David Harris as well as breakout sessions on topics such as historical inequities in medicine

Tufts University will hold a virtual discussion on racial justice and antiracism efforts on Friday, June 18, to mark Juneteenth—the anniversary of the emancipation of enslaved people in the United States.

Hosted by the Chief Diversity Officers, Office of the Provost, and Office of the President, this second annual Day of Reflection, Commitment, and Action is open to all members of the Tufts community.

The schedule begins at 9 a.m. with welcoming remarks and keynote speaker David Harris, who recently retired as managing director at the Charles Hamilton Houston Institute for Race and Justice at the Harvard Law School. Harris led the creation of the Houston / Marshall Plan for Community Justice, which aims to bring the voices of those affected by the wars on crime and drugs into the creation of public policy. He was previously the founding executive director of the Fair Housing Center of Boston, and served with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights.

Breakout sessions follow from 10-11 a.m. and 11 a.m.-12 p.m., including a discussion on resistance to anti-racist change led by the Center for the Enhancement of Learning and Teaching; a presentation of a plan promoting equity and justice by the Office of Sustainability; and a workshop on centering student voices by the Department of Education Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Justice Committee.

Other sessions will be led by various Tufts schools, including a Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine workshop on historical inequities experienced by Black people in the veterinary profession and a School of Medicine discussion of the history and impact of racism on research, public health, and clinical medicine. Cummings School and the School of Dental Medicine will also be co-sponsoring a panel on Michael Eric Dyson’s book Long Time Coming on racial reckoning in America. The full schedule for the morning is available here.

“It is crucial that we all stop to reflect, commit, and act to create an antiracist institution at Tufts University," said Joyce Sackey, chief diversity officer at Tufts' health sciences schools, and dean for multicultural affairs and global health at the School of Medicine  "It is essential that we, as a Tufts community, continue contributing to the national conversation and contemplate the nation’s histories, the longstanding epidemic of racial injustices in all spheres of our society, including educational opportunities, health outcomes, socioeconomic status, environmental and criminal justice system; and commit to our role as change agents.”

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