Celebrating Juneteenth 2021
Dear Families, Colleagues, Partners, and Friends,
Juneteenth is the annual holiday that commemorates the end of slavery in the United States. Also called “Freedom Day” or “Emancipation Day”, Juneteenth has long been a day of reflection and community for African-Americans. Just this week, Congress voted to make Juneteenth National Independence Day a federal holiday and on Thursday June 17 it was signed into law by the President.
At Hartford Public Schools, we take this opportunity to express support and solidarity with our Black and African-American students, families, staff and partners. Events of the last year have sparked renewed interest in Juneteenth as well as calls for justice. We know that the struggle for change and equality for all people continues.
To provide an equitable education to all our students, we have ensured that our three-year strategic plan maintains our focus on high-quality teaching and learning. That includes instruction and enrichments to meet the needs of all students with challenging and culturally relevant coursework. We continue to prioritize building welcoming school cultures and nurturing climates throughout the district. Our school leaders and administrators have engaged in ongoing anti-bias and anti-racist professional learning sessions. We affirm our commitment to ensuring all our students learn in environments where they feel safe and valued and where their voices are heard. We will also encourage and highlight student contributions to our collective understanding of Black history, art and culture.
This Juneteenth, I encourage everyone in our community to explore the history and participate in local celebrations.
Thank you for your partnership and support.
Dr. Leslie Torres-Rodriguez
Hartford Public Schools