Juneteenth statement from Dean Janie Heath

Posted: June 19, 2020

(LEXINGTON, KY.) -- "Today, Juneteenth is a reminder of how far we’ve come as a nation and how far we still need to go. June 19, 1865, is a momentous occasion that commemorates the official day in African American history that signifies the end of slavery in the United States. Even though the emancipation proclamation came two years earlier on January 1, 1863, the enslaved were held captive until this historical day which represents African American Freedom.

Our present-day conditions still reflect many of the hallmarks of injustice, inequity, and racism that were used to subjugate the valuable lives of African Americans, then and now.

Across the country today will be marked by celebrations, marches, and demonstrations in recognition of this important day and as a reminder of the recent tragic killings of innocent black lives.

Let us use this day to reflect and renew our commitment to being diligent in our work now, and in the days to come. My thanks to the work of several in our College who are diligently working to remind us we must NEVER go backward and ALWAYS move forward to stand up for health equity and racial justice." 

- Dean Janie Heath, UK College of Nursing