Shadia Alvarez ’96, senior vice president for Equity and Strategic Development and executive director of the Coretta Scott King Center, was recently interviewed by Kelly Cherwin, the director of Editorial Strategy for HigherEdJobs, about what Juneteenth means for Antioch College, how it is celebrated, and what Antioch is doing to acknowledge and reflect on denouncing racism on campus.
This year was the second year that Juneteenth has been observed at Antioch College, following a motion brought before College Council in June 2020 by current student and member of the Board of Trustees Chris Chavers ‘21. In observance of Juneteenth, all College offices were closed.
Alvarez stated that students, faculty and staff were encouraged to spend the day reflecting, connecting, and practicing “purposeful care for each other and their families, and their greater community.”
She also noted that this celebration marks “both a historical moment and a re-commitment to uplifting stories, narratives, and history contributing to the building of community, the amplifying of voices previously not heard, and an understanding that history must include all of our moments of courage and stories.”
When asked how leaders, staff, faculty, and/or students can help in efforts to dismantle racism on campus, Alvarez spoke about Antioch’s mission to act for justice, and that the College takes a stance to be actively involved in educating, training, and amplifying voices that have been marginalized. She added that in order to make lasting improvements for our society, we need to “strengthen our community’s understanding of oppression and ensure we are purposefully building towards a better humanity.”