The Bay Path community gathered together for a virtual celebration paying homage to the historical significance of June 19th. Also known as Juneteenth, this day marks the true end of slavery in America, when news of the Emancipation Proclamation finally reached Galveston, Texas in 1865 and the last remaining enslaved people were made aware of their freedom.
For Bay Path, this student-led event was an opportunity to cultivate knowledge and appreciation of African American history and allowed participants a space to come together to start a conversation to recognize the contributions that have been made, and the work that still needs to be done. Students from the undergraduate, graduate, and The American Women’s College divisions, and members of the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion advisory committee were present to partake in music, poetry, and words of reflection, and select Board of Trustee members shared messages of hope and encouragement. Students also heard from Dr. Leary and incoming President Doran.
The event provided a brave space for students to share ideas on what freedom means to them, and the audience were urged to “listen as fiercely as you would want to be heard.”
What does freedom mean for you?
Student responses, shared with permission
Freedom is the power to act, think, or speak without restraint. To be free is to not be under the control of another. - Aprell
Freedom is being allowed to have the basic rights all human beings deserve. To be accepted in the same way as everyone else. To be listened to. To be given the same autonomy. It's not just an end goal; it needs to be fought to be preserved. - Cora
Freedom is being able to exist and live your life as your true self without the risk of that causing you harm. - Janell
My freedom looks like financial freedom. We need to understand the wealth disparity and the wage gap. Our dollars have power. - Victoria