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Message from HNU President Mike Groener

Reflections on Juneteenth

Dear HNU Community,

Juneteenth has never been a celebration of victory or an acceptance of the way things are. It’s a celebration of progress. It’s an affirmation that despite the most painful parts of our history, change is possible—and there is still so much work to do.
—Barack Obama

A century and a half ago, on June 19, 1865, enslaved Black people in Texas finally learned that they were freed from slavery—over two years after the Emancipation Proclamation formally declared their freedom.

As we celebrate Juneteenth this year, let us reflect on the painful history and lasting impacts of slavery in our country, and what we can do to advance racial equity. Let us push to end systemic racism, and let our actions, both individually and collectively, help us build a stronger community.

Let us also reflect on the progress that has been made at Holy Names: I am proud of the work our Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee has embarked upon, under the leadership of Dr. Kimberly Mayfield. And the work of the staff and faculty team who brought the Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation Campus Center to HNU in the fall of 2021. In the upcoming year, I look forward to continuing this important work with these groups and all of you.

I am pleased to announce that HNU has established Juneteenth as an official university holiday starting in 2023.

This year, I encourage everyone in our community to take part in the many joyous and inspirational Juneteenth events happening in the Bay Area.


Mike Groener