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Interim President Marcia J. White sent the following message to Saint Rose employees today (students were also notified of the change):

Dear Colleagues,

Yesterday, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo issued an executive order recognizing Juneteenth, to be celebrated Friday, June 19, as a holiday for state employees, in recognition of the official emancipation of African Americans throughout the United States. We applaud Governor Cuomo for his pledge that he will advance legislation to make Juneteenth an official New York State holiday next year.

The College was founded on principles of social justice, including creating an inclusive community. The anti-racism values of our founders, the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet, still form the bedrock of our mission, and propel us forward. We have not forgotten our heritage, now 100 years old. Nor will we ignore the heritage of our nation and our Black brothers and sisters.

Joining New York State in this important action, the College will observe Juneteenth beginning tomorrow, Friday, June 19, 2020. Employees who are scheduled to work tomorrow, June 19, will receive the time off with pay. Those who have duties they must fulfill tomorrow will be given a make-up day.

We are facing a critical time in our history. It is a painful time. It is a hopeful time. We have had some honest and meaningful discussions with our students and employees in the last few weeks regarding the work toward racial justice that remains, including issues that must be addressed on our own campus. We are continuing those conversations and turning them into action steps. We will share that information with our community along the way.

Recognizing the significance of Juneteenth as a College is an important step, but it is only the beginning. We will continue to do the hard work, and will be a more just Saint Rose for the next 100 years as a result.