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From the MC President: In Recognition of Juneteenth, Montgomery College Is Closed Friday, June 18

To: Montgomery College Community

From: Dr. DeRionne P. Pollard, President

Subject: Juneteenth Recognition: Montgomery College Will Close

Date: June 17, 2021

Good afternoon, Raptors. I am taking an unusual step of closing the College tomorrow, June 18, in observance of Juneteenth.

As you may have heard, today President Biden approved the vote by the U.S. Congress to declare Juneteenth as a federal holiday. As a result, the federal government has decided to mark its first observance tomorrow. Governor Hogan announced that the state of Maryland will also close in order to mark this significant date. While this decision is being made with little advance notice, I believe that closing the College for this day will not cause excessive disruption, given the significance of this historic recognition. Therefore, I will use my authority to suspend operations tomorrow: Classes will not be held and employees in all positions will not be expected to report to offices or work remotely.

As I mentioned in my Monday message, June 19, 1865, was the day on which federal troops arrived in Galveston, Texas, to ensure that people still being held in slavery were freed. This came a full two years after the Emancipation Proclamation had freed people held in slavery, a tragic commentary on the persistence of racism and oppression against people of color. I hope you will take advantage of this time to educate yourself about the history of Juneteenth—officially celebrated on June 19—and to reflect on the progress of our nation towards building racial equity.

As we all learned through numerous dialogues this year, there is still significant work to be done, but I am proud that Montgomery College is engaging in it with courage and intention. Please consider using some online resources to educate yourself about Juneteenthnew window this weekend. I hope these resources will spark conversations in classrooms and community settings about our nation’s history.

Thank you for your flexibility in this late decision process.