Friday, June 19, 2020
Juneteenth Order - June 19, 1865

Today, June 19th, is the day we commemorate and celebrate the end of slavery in the United States. It is a also a day when we should reflect upon what each of us can do to confront entrenched racism and injustice.

The battle to end institutionalized racism has persisted for centuries. It was not born in the protests of last few weeks, nor will it end with the political campaigns of the coming months. It is clear the media play an important role in this struggle. While they can act as powerful tools to bring people together to fight oppression, the media also are used to strengthen and reinforce existing inequities. Thus, media scholars, teachers and practitioners have a responsibility to build and nurture media systems that promote fairness and equality.

BECA faculty remain deeply committed to the department's mission, which calls upon us to foster a safe environment for our students who will "go on to become innovative and ethical industry leaders who advance equity, social justice, and global citizenship."

Next year BECA will invite media professionals, activists, and scholars to lead a series of social justice symposiums for our students and faculty. Although the first symposiums must be virtual, as we cannot meet face to face in the Fall semester, I hope we will be able to hold them in person in the new LCA Building in the Spring.

In the meantime, I encourage you to look at the Broadcast Education Association's (BEA) Diversity Links and Resources page, where you will find a substantial list of media diversity and inclusion information and organizations.

Sami Reist
Chair, Broadcast & Electronic Communication Arts

(Photo of original "Juneteenth" order safeguarded in the National Archives)