Northwest recognizes Juneteenth as an official holiday beginning this year, with the University closed on Monday, June 20, in observance. It is an opportunity for members of the university community to reflect on the meaning of June 19, 1865, when some of the last enslaved African Americans in Texas learned that the Civil War had ended, putting into effect the Emancipation Proclamation, which it had been issued by President Abraham Lincoln more than two years earlier.
But what does Juneteenth mean today?
“It’s more than a day of celebration,” said Lorraine Goffe, vice president of human resources and chief human resources officer. “Juneteenth is also a time to consider how our history feels in the present and the ongoing work that needs to be done.”
To that end, the Office of Human Resources (OHR) has made it a strategic priority to focus on diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging (DEIB). For staff members, there are several ways to make DEIB a more deliberate part of their daily lives and think about increased education and awareness, such as being intentional in hiring practices and taking advantage of learning and development resources, Goffe said. .
- the Unconscious bias workshop is a foundational skills workshop designed to raise awareness of the biases that exist in everyday interactions.
- the Active Inclusion Workshop raises awareness and provides practical tools for participants to enact changes to foster inclusive environments.
To continue work, staff can access the deib playlist at any time, free of charge, through myHR Learn. The playlist complements Northwestern’s DEIB workshop offerings and provides additional resources for continued learning. Contains a curated list of online courses, videos, articles, and books from renowned experts in the field, including Northwestern faculty.
northwestern Talent Acquisition Team encourages schools, units, and offices to work proactively with their talent acquisition partner to ensure their job postings reflect DEIB principles. In addition, the team will provide recommendations for outreach at specific DEIB job sites.
Schools and units can also contact Stefanie Hicks, Human Resources Associate Director for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, who can help operationalize the Diverse Candidate Slates policy, including facilitating live trainings.
Goffe encourages all members of the Northwestern community to take advantage of the upcoming holiday weekend to reflect on ways to contribute to DEIB’s efforts to make Northwestern campuses more diverse and welcoming.
“With our partners across campus, we will continue to make sure everyone feels like they belong, as this is truly a University-wide priority and it will take us all to reach this goal.”