Dear Berkeley Engineering community members,
On June 19, 1865, enslaved people in Texas learned that they would finally be liberated, two and a half years after President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation and nearly six months before the 13th Amendment abolishing slavery was ratified. This day came to be known as Juneteenth by the newly freed people in Texas, and now commemorates the end of slavery in our country.
The juxtaposition of Juneteenth with anti-Black racism in our country today is a clarion call to take action to eliminate inequality and injustice. As we open our eyes to the harsh reality of racism and the profound effects of bias and discrimination, we are compelled to work together to create a more just and equal society.
In recent weeks, my leadership team and I have heard from many Black colleagues about their experiences as members of our community, and we have received suggestions for concrete actions that the college can take to help address the challenges that they face. I am committed to working collaboratively and swiftly with all interested colleagues to co-create a plan that makes it clear that Black lives matter to us. I look forward to sharing with you this plan in the coming weeks.
Our campus leaders have marked Juneteenth as a day of remembrance at UC Berkeley. I encourage you to take time today to learn more about systemic racism and anti-racist resources to help promote equity, inclusion and belonging in our community.
Tsu-Jae King Liu
Dean and Roy W. Carlson Professor of Engineering