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What is Juneteenth? It is a celebration of the day enslaved Texans learned they were free. We all learned about the Emancipation Proclamation, issued by President Lincoln in 1863, which announced that enslaved people in the United States were free. But it actually took two years, until June 19, 1865, for this news to arrive in Galveston, Texas, where the Union Army issued an order proclaiming freedom for enslaved people there. Also, the Emancipation Proclamation did not apply to Union states, so it actually did not end slavery in the United States. The 13th Amendment, passed by Congress on January 31, 1865, officially abolished slavery.

The word “Juneteenth” comes from a blending of the date, June and 19th. Traditional celebrations have included barbecues and red foods and drinks, such as strawberry soda. This holiday is important to many people, and for whom it is considered the second or real Independence Day. For a family-friendly explanation of why this holiday is so important to recognize, watch this BrainPOP video.

Today, Juneteenth is getting more well-known around the country; 47 states celebrate it as a holiday. Starting in 2022, it will be a holiday for state workers in Washington. Companies such as the NFL, Google, and Nike are closing their offices to honor the day. However it still is not a national holiday. There is a push to make it so, since the history of slavery and freedom for Black people is part of U.S. history.

Sign this petition to help make Juneteenth a national holiday.

Book Read-Alouds
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June, 2021 – Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Newsletter

This month we celebrate Pride Month and Juneteenth!

Keep your eyes peeled for information, resources, and events in celebration of each in our regular weekly emails!

Continued Hate:  The Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee continues to stand in solidarity with all communities experiencing hate. We are saddened and angered at the recent uprising of hate toward the Jewish community, and the continued hate toward the Black and AAPI communities. We condemn acts of racism, bullying violence, and xenophobia, and commit to creating safe, inclusive, and equitable spaces for our community. 

Announcement: DEI Board Position:  This is my last month as the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Chair for the PTA, and I wanted to take a moment and say how grateful I am that I was a part of and a voice on the board for the last three years. I am proud of all that we have accomplished, and I hope that this work continues in some capacity on the board. This work is essential to every student and to our school community. I hope that the Anti-Bias Resolution we passed earlier this year is fully realized, and I also hope that you and your children have enjoyed the virtual libraries, monthly newsletters, BLM information, Pride flag, and all of the other goodies we have sent your way over the last few years. It is now time for someone else to pick up the baton:

We are currently seeking a community member to step into the DEI chair position for the 2021/22 school year. In this position, work with board members, staff, and the community to make decisions and effect change in the lives of all students by moving our mission and resolution forward. Think events, workshops, information sharing, celebration, and advocacy. We have structure and calendars provided to guide the new chair throughout the year! To apply or for more information, please send inquiries to the PTA at

Recent Accomplishments and Projects

BIPOC+ Books featuring Girls:  The DEI committee has ordered over 100 books this month in order to create a new DEI Library for teachers to use in their classrooms. This is on top of the RIsing Voices collection that was purchased earlier this year, which primarily featured boys. We want to ensure that students see themselves reflected in books, and that all students have opportunities to see and learn about differences, too.

Virtual Library:  We hope that you and your family enjoyed the virtual AAPI library in celebration of AAPI Heritage Month! Feel free to use it and the BLM library at any time. Summer is almost here!

AAPI Heritage Month:  Last month we celebrated AAPI Heritage Month by providing our community with articles, videos, book recommendations, and the AAPI library. We also supported the Anti-bias, Implicit Bias, and Microaggression workshop hosted by Madison, and we hope you were able to attend.

Below we have provided some follow-up resources for you based on that event.

About the Lafayette DEI Committee:  The Lafayette DEI Committee formed in 2018 by Jennifer Barringer and was joined by members of the Lafayette community. Our mission is to build an environment that enables all families to feel empowered, valued, respected, and safe through action and the sharing of information. We believe in building a strong and inclusive community in order to affect change. This year we set three goals: pass an anti-bias resolution, create a support group for BIPOC students and their families, and support families with equity issues within our community. We are also committed to supporting the BLM at School movement, and are working at building up our visibility and committee membership. This year we have begun collaborating with the staff RET, and have been able to support teachers in this work. We hold monthly meetings, and all are always welcome! We are looking for leaders interested in heading up or joining in the work!

What Can YOU do for equity?

  1. Listen to this episode on How to Bust Bias in your work lives and home lives with organizational psychologist, Adam Grant, and Tyece Wilkins (Sr. Advisor of Diversity, Inclusion, Equity at BAE Systems). This is part two of the podcast’s Anti-Racism work. Learn more about bias as habits and starting to break free from them.
  2. Join the conversation. Watch these Smithsonian Video Series on Stereotypes: These videos are created by the Smithsonian API Team and made by Educators for Educators. They explore topics such as model minority myth, bamboo ceiling, impacts on justice system, Queer & Asian identities, Making the Invisible, Visible and so many more.
  3. Reflect in a journal; Identify an bias/assumption; Pick one habit to change today; Start the conversation with your loved ones.

LGBTQIA Resources

Happy Pride Month!

This month we celebrate and honor the all of the amazing Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, and Questioning folks within our community! This year things have gone virtual again, but it is an incredible opportunity to enjoy all of the great books and videos highlighting, lifting up, and promoting love in all its manifestations.

This year Seattle Pride is hosting a virtual pride event taking place June 26th and 27th. This organization also provides news, resources, and hosts monthly conversations concerning important topics to the LGBTQIA+ community.

Resources for Families

  • The Trevor Project–provides crisis and suicide prevention services for LGBTQIA+ youth
  • PFLAG and PFLAG Seattle–start or find a local chapter to support LGBTQIA+ youth
  • TransFamilies–resources, online support, and annual conference information

Virtual Read Aloud Books

Video Resources


Edith Windsor: LGBT Rights Activist

This week we highlight Edith Windsor, an unlikely but key figure in making same sex marriages possible in the United States. After a 40 year engagement to Thea Sayer, they finally wed in Canada in 2007, as it was still illegal in the US. Just two years later, Thea passed, and since the US didn’t recognize their union, she was charged federal taxes for Thea’s estate. At 81, Edith took this case all the way to the Supreme Court, which ruled that it was unconstitutional to discriminate based on sexual orientation. This case was critical in paving the way for ruling in favor of same sex marriages, and just two years later, in 2015, same sex marriages were legalized nationally.

06/01/21, 7PM, Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Meet Up

Our mission is to foster an environment that enables families to feel empowered, valued, respected and safe. We wish to cultivate a diverse and inclusive community through action and the sharing of information.   We meet monthly to discuss issues, make plans, and move forward with our goals. This year, we are focusing on implementing supports for our students and families of color. All are always welcome and your voices are important to this work!  JOIN US.

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