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We celebrate Juneteenth to commemorate the ending of slavery in the U.S. We honor these freedoms, advocate for justice and believe that Black lives matter.

Also this week, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 forbids job discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity, and the court upheld the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program for Dreamers.

The history of Juneteenth and these recent rulings show us that systemic change doesn't happen overnight.

Our Catholic and Dominican heritage points us to the truth: that we are equally made in the image of God. Turning away from that truth leads to prejudice, fear and hate. We continue to work on growth – and seeking truth – both institutionally and individually through education, self-reflection, discussion and action. Our progress will also take time and hard work. We will be announcing more soon.

We won’t give up. Don’t ever give up.