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Diversity

Child Guidance Resource Centers (CGRC) is currently offering three free webinars for continuing education credits for LSWs, LCSWs, LPCs, and LMFTs. The links in the titles below are the registration links for each event.

All webinars will be presented by Kelly J. Ace, PhD, JD, and Antonia J. Cianfrani, MA, ATR-BC, LPR. Participants will receive 2 CE credits upon completion.

If you have any other questions, please contact RCPA COO and Policy Director Jim Sharp.

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Photo by Glodi Miessi on Unsplash

Juneteenth is Wednesday, June 19, 2024, just four weeks away, meaning it’s time to start planning for your organization’s celebration! Recognizing and acknowledging the day and its significance goes a long way to creating a culture of belonging within your organization. There are many ways to celebrate, and we have listed below some suggestions and ideas for your agency.

First, understand the background and history. What is Juneteenth?
Juneteenth is a federal holiday celebrated on the nineteenth day of June to commemorate the emancipation of African-Americans who were enslaved in the United States. It memorializes the end of slavery and has been observed annually since 1865. On June 17, 2021, President Biden signed into law Senate Bill 475, making Juneteenth a federally recognized holiday.

Juneteenth is often celebrated under several names, including National Independence Day, Emancipation Day, Freedom Day, Jubilee Day, Black Independence Day, and Juneteenth Independence Day.

In early 1863, during the American Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation, which declared the freedom of more than three million slaves living in the Confederate states. More than two years later, on June 19, 1865, this news finally reached people living in Texas with the arrival of Union soldiers. When African Americans living in Texas learned that slavery had been abolished, they immediately began to celebrate with prayer, feasting, song, and dance — the foundation of Juneteenth.

The following year, on June 19, the first official Juneteenth celebrations took place in Texas. Original observances included prayer meetings and the singing of spirituals. Celebrants wore new clothes as a way of representing their newfound freedom. Juneteenth became a state holiday in Texas in 1980, and several other states followed suit. Within a few years, African Americans in many other states were celebrating the day as well, making it an annual tradition.

How is Juneteenth celebrated?
Today, many Juneteenth celebrations include prayer and religious services, speeches, educational events, family gatherings and picnics, and festivals with music, food, and dancing. In some places, demonstrations and parades commemorate the day. These celebrations often include ways to honor aspects of African-American culture.

While Juneteenth has immense meaning for the African-American community, there is value for every person — regardless of race, culture, or background — to observe this holiday. A celebration of freedom for any group is a celebration of the ideals that we value as a nation.

Juneteenth is a day for all Americans to celebrate liberty, resilience, and strength. While participating and commemorating, all should pause to acknowledge the historical and somber importance of the day.

Why should we celebrate Juneteenth in the workplace?
Celebrating Juneteenth in the workplace sends a strong message to African-American employees, clients, and community members that the black experience, black history, and the struggles endured are worth acknowledging.

What are some ideas for planning a Juneteenth celebration at work?

  • Recognize It as a Holiday: Give employees paid time off, such as half a day, the whole day, an extended lunch, or early dismissal.
  • Educate Employees: Share facts about Black history, the ongoing fight for civil rights, and the issues Black people face. Consider a “Did you Know?” campaign.
  • Invite Guest Speakers: In-person or virtual sessions with experts in racial justice, civil rights, or DEI can share insights as well as personal experiences and inspire action.
  • Share Traditional Juneteenth Foods: If hosting a meal, include traditional soul foods on your menu. Consider providing a voucher to a local Black-owned restaurant for staff who cannot attend.
  • Include Celebratory Music: Consider live music or a Juneteenth play list.
  • Share Media and Reading Materials: Connect and share Juneteenth media and reading materials. Read a story or watch a movie or video as a group.
  • Support Black Businesses: Include Black-owned businesses in your celebration.
  • Encourage Participation in Community Events: Engage with your community in a productive way.

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The RCPA Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion Committee invites you to join us in a multi-media celebration of Black History Month! Each week during the month of February, the DEI Committee will distribute recommendations for interactive ways to learn about and commemorate Black History. Join us as we celebrate and enjoy the contributions of Black Americans!

Week 4: Books

It’s chilly out there, which makes it the perfect time to curl up with a great story and learn something new about Black American history and culture. You can read something on your own or organize an impromptu book club with a friend, colleague, or partner! There are many choices for getting started; here are a few suggestions:

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Image by Pixabay from Pexels

The RCPA Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion Committee invites you to join us in a multi-media celebration of Black History Month! Each week during the month of February, the DEI Committee will distribute recommendations for interactive ways to learn about and commemorate Black History. Join us as we celebrate and enjoy the contributions of Black Americans!

Week 3: Video

During your downtime this week, take the opportunity to intentionally explore stories of Black Americans and works by Black artists. There are so many choices available, and here are a few suggestions to get your search started:

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In honor of Black History Month, join us Thursday, Feb. 15, 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm ET for Amplifying Black Voices: Overcoming Institutionalized Racial Discrimination in Integrated Care. This empowering panel discussion celebrates Black excellence through resilience, resistance and triumph over institutionalized racial discrimination, particularly in the context of health equity and leadership in integrated care settings. We will honor the complexities of being a prominent leader who identifies as Black or African American while experiencing various forms of discrimination, including racism, and its impact on mental health and career possibilities in the field.

In the wake of recent headlines, including the resignation of the former president of Harvard University following experiences of racial discrimination, our esteemed panelists will delve into the complexities and challenges faced by Black leaders within institutional settings, including the “pet to threat” phenomenon, as well as discuss solutions and strategies to address systemic and individual prejudices.

By amplifying the voices of those with lived experience, we hope to inspire and empower individuals, especially in Black and African American communities, to continue working toward equity and inclusion in health care leadership and beyond.

Register Today!

All sessions are supported by the Center of Excellence for Integrated Health Solutions (CoE-IHS), funded by a grant award from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). If you have any questions about this session or any others in this series, contact the National Council for Mental Wellbeing.

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Image by Soundtrap on Unsplash

The RCPA Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion Committee invites you to join us in a multi-media celebration of Black History Month! Each week during the month of February, the DEI Committee will distribute recommendations for interactive ways to learn about and commemorate Black History. Join us as we celebrate and enjoy the contributions of Black Americans!

Week 2: Music

Find Curated Playlists for Black History Month, or create a playlist of your own!

You can “ask Alexa” to play music by black artists or black composers. Suggested search terms:

  • Black artists
  • Black classical composers
  • Afrobeat
  • Gospel/Spirituals

Find music by Black artists in any genre:

  • Jazz
  • Funk
  • Hip-hop
  • Rock
  • Pop
  • Country