Juneteenth and Pride Month provide opportunities for WVCS to educate its staff, volunteers, and the broader community about historical and ongoing issues marginalized communities face. The events allow for learning about the experiences, challenges, and contributions of African Americans and the LGBTQIA+ community and also for promoting understanding, empathy, and cultural competence.
Juneteenth commemorates the emancipation of enslaved African Americans, highlighting the ongoing struggle for racial equality. Our staff advocated for this to be a holiday and to commemorate it each year within our agency. Our staff joined together to learn the history of Juneteenth and Black American history so we cannot forget the struggle, strength, and hope required for a better future.
Pride Month celebrates the LGBTQ+ community's history, achievements, and the ongoing fight for acceptance and equal rights. Our staff makes ourselves more inclusive and respectful of others by providing our pronouns during meetings and emails, and we have open discussions in safe spaces to support inclusion. We honor the Stonewall Riots and the challenges still being overcome by the LGBTQIA+ community by sharing with our staff the history of discrimination toward this community and its resulting activism.
By recognizing and honoring these essential cultural and historical events, WVCS is making sure to send a message that we value the importance of Diversity and Inclusion. We want to show solidarity, amplify voices, and advocate for the rights and well-being of historically marginalized groups.