On Thursday, the Tulsa Board of Education decided to make Friday, June 19, Juneteenth, a paid holiday for their employees.
In a statement, the Board said, “We believe that we have a moral obligation to stand alongside our Black and Brown brothers and sisters and act boldly to disrupt and dismantle the systems of oppression that plague our city, our state, and our country.”
The following was posted on the TPS website:
This evening, the Tulsa Board of Education approved the recommendation to make Friday, June 19 – Juneteenth – a paid holiday for the Team Tulsa family.
On June 19, 1865, approximately 200,000 enslaved Black Americans received the news of President Abraham Lincoln’s 1863 Emancipation Proclamation. Each year, many Black Americans celebrate the holiday Juneteenth on June 19 as both a celebration of the resilience of Black people and a commemoration of 400 years of painful injustice that carry through to the present day.
Tulsa Public Schools is a district that celebrates diversity in all of its forms. We believe that we have a moral obligation to stand alongside our Black and Brown brothers and sisters and act boldly to disrupt and dismantle the systems of oppression that plague our city, our state, and our country. Like the deeply divided America of that first Juneteenth in 1865, our country again stands at a crossroads where the lives and livelihoods of all Black and Brown people are continuously in peril based solely on the color of their skin. We must stand together in deep and intentional solidarity with Black and Indigenous People of Color to name and actively dismantle oppressive systems, structures, and practices so that we can truly embody our commitment to becoming an anti-racist and anti-oppressive organization. Just as systemic racism permeates the experience of Black and Brown people, we also believe that advancing systemic representation sends a clear message about what and who we value as a public education system. We value the spirit of what Juneteenth embodies as a moment of cultural celebration and affirmation, and we want everyone on our team to have the opportunity for reflection and celebration on this holiday.
Find the statement here on TPS website.