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Juneteenth reflections: Robin Goodson

Robin Goodson (Source: Provided)

Juneteenth, a day of profound significance for the Black community, holds a special place in our collective history.

As a Black woman, I stand proudly among the countless voices rejoicing on this momentous occasion. Juneteenth symbolizes our ancestors’ resilience, triumph, and unity while serving as a powerful reminder of the work that lies ahead.

Juneteenth 2023: Local reflections

One United Lancaster asked several Black community leaders and advocates to share their thoughts on Juneteenth. Click the links to read each author’s essay:

As the school board president of the School District of Lancaster, I hope we can continue to harness the spirit of Juneteenth to build a brighter future.

Juneteenth is a celebration of freedom that transcends the boundaries of time and space, reminding us of the battles fought and the progress achieved. It is a day for us to honor the courage and perseverance of our forebears who endured unimaginable hardships. By embracing our history, we empower ourselves with the knowledge that our struggles and triumphs are intertwined with those who came before us.

It also offers an opportunity to share my family’s story and lift the power of transformation and potential in the ongoing struggles for racial justice.

The School District of Lancaster has an important role to play in that struggle. We embrace equity, inclusion, and global-mindedness and believe all students are capable of meeting high expectations.

As we reviewed in our meeting on June 13, our elementary reading proficiency improved by almost 20%, and the number of elementary students scoring proficient or advanced in math increased by nearly 30% this year. And we’re making progress toward our ambitious goals to ensure our Black and Brown students enroll in and succeed in our wide range of advanced courses, like International Baccalaureate and Advanced Placement.

I believe in the transformative power of education to dismantle some of the barriers that still hinder the progress of historically excluded communities.

Juneteenth encourages people of all backgrounds to recognize and appreciate the immense contributions of the Black community to the fabric of American society.

Our school board established Juneteenth as a paid holiday two years ago, in part to allow our employees and their families to participate in events that celebrate our shared heritage, such as the second-annual Juneteenth Cultural Mixer at Crispus Attucks Community Center. In our politically charged times, these opportunities to strengthen our sense of community and foster unity are essential.

At the same time, Juneteenth serves as a reminder of the ongoing struggle for racial equality and justice. As community leaders, we must be committed to using this day as a catalyst for change.

We must channel the spirit of Juneteenth to address systemic inequalities, advocate for social reforms, and dismantle the barriers that still hinder the progress of too many of our people. By equipping the next generation through education, mentorship, and economic opportunities, we can ensure that the legacy of Juneteenth lives on in a more equitable society.

Juneteenth serves as a powerful testament to the unyielding spirit of Black Americans in the face of adversity. It is a day to honor our ancestors, celebrate our heritage, and galvanize our commitment to progress.

I stand resolutely in solidarity with my beloved community, embracing Juneteenth as a beacon of hope and catalyst for change.

Let us continue to champion equality, justice, and unity, knowing that the legacy of Juneteenth empowers us to create a brighter and more inclusive future for everyone.