This year, the Fourth of July arrives amid protests against racism and police brutality toward Black Americans and a focus on the role white supremacy has always played in the United States. As these resources show, this holiday and its symbols are tied to a long tradition of protest and demands that our nation make good on its promise of freedom for all.
June 28 marks the anniversary of the start of the Stonewall uprisings. Largely led by Black and Brown trans women and gender nonconforming people of color, protesters demonstrated against routine police violence, discrimination and dehumanization. This year, we’re celebrating Pride by celebrating the intersectional history of the LGBTQ movement—and the intersectionality of current movements in support of Black lives and LGBTQ rights.
Juneteenth, celebrated June 19, marks the day enslaved Texans learned they were free in June of 1865. While the history of the holiday includes the injustice of enslavement, Juneteenth should also be understood in the context of Black people’s fight for justice and freedom. As Staff Writer Coshandra Dillard notes, “Students, particularly Black students, can find empowerment in the jubilant celebrations of culture, activism and the humanity of a people.”
International protests in response to the recent killings of Ahmaud Arbery, Sean Reed, Breonna Taylor, George Floyd and Tony McDade show the vast reach and profound importance of the Black Lives Matter movement. These resources can help you talk with students about the historical context and mission behind Black Lives Matter and work toward making your school a more affirming, safer space for Black students.
Throughout May, we've been sharing resources supporting educator and student mental health. Now, as Mental Health Awareness Month comes to a close, we hope you'll commit to integrating mental health literacy into your curricula and normalizing discussions of mental health and wellness year round.