In Commemoration of Juneteenth

In Commemoration of Juneteenth


Community members at the 2020 Black Existence March.
Credit: Intisar Abioto

 

To our community -- 

Today is Juneteenth, a day to commemorate Black freedom, sovereignty, and resistance, and centers on Black people’s struggle for justice in the U.S. 

For the Black community, it is a day, a week, and in some areas, a month marked with celebrations, guest speakers, picnics, and family gatherings. It is a time for reflection, rejoicing, assessment, and planning for the future. As a non-Black immigrant-led organization, we honor this day and recognize the contributions of our Black staff, community leaders, and supporters who hold us accountable for our commitment to centering Black lives.

For the past two years, we have been working to center Black lives in our work, and are working to understand and incorporate an abolitionist framework throughout the entire organization. During the 2020 uprisings for Black Lives that called to Defund the Police, Unite Oregon took an abolitionist approach to advocacy work and organized with partnering community leaders and organizations to put on the first Black Existence March and an educational Summit in early 2021 to bring staff, community members, and partners along in this work. We are planning to roll out more programming and events this year that will continue to highlight our efforts in organizing for and with Black lives.

The rapidly changing landscape of Oregon demands us to meet the ongoing needs of BIPOC, immigrants and refugees, rural communities, and people experiencing poverty. We know that shifting our work to more deeply reflect our values as an organization will ensure we continue to uphold our 6 Pillars and mobilize a strong statewide base with political power and the capacity to advance racial justice in the state. 

It is time to make real investments in our communities. On this Juneteenth, we continue to interrogate structural and interpersonal anti-Blackness within BIPOC, immigrant, and refugee communities, demand reparations for the enslavement of Black people, the right to bodily autonomy, decriminalization of drugs and poverty, and sharpen our work across Oregon to build a unified intercultural movement for justice.

We invite you to learn more about our work and how you can get involved with our chapters across the state.

In Solidarity, 

Khanh Le
Executive Director