5 Friyays – June 19

5 Friyays – June 19

Hey, all! It’s Dr. Erin here – back with my Friyays for the week that was. Some big SCOTUS decisions came down this week, but they don’t top my list. Let’s see what does!

What is Juneteenth?

If you’re one of the many Americans wondering what Juneteenth is – I’m here to help. There are lots of helpful explanations about the origins and meanings of this very important holiday for Black Americans. Here’s a good one from the New York Times. We celebrate today and hope for more progress tomorrow.

Progress Takes Money

There’s so much important anti-racism work to be done, and this week we heard good news for groups who need funds to support their efforts. The Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation has established as $12.5 million dollar fund to help organizations fighting for racial justice and equality. The Fund will prioritize helping black-led community groups – we cannot wait to see what they can get done!

Revisiting History

A lot of people are rethinking America’s history of racism and particularly police violence during the last 3 weeks. Last week I watched a fantastic and disturbing documentary about the civil unrest in Los Angeles following the acquittal of the police officers who beat Rodney King. I was 9 at the time, with vague memories of the events. With new archival news footage, LA ’92 sets the stage and reminds us how little has changed in the ensuing 30 years.

A Win for LGBTQ Workers

Of course I couldn’t end my Friyays without celebrating the two MASSIVE decisions from the United States Supreme Court this week. Up first on Monday, SCOTUS ruled that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act applied to LGBTQ employees – meaning they cannot be fired or discriminated against for their sexuality or gender identity. This is a huge and important protection for so many hard working Americans.

Dreamers Can Keep Dreaming

Making my Friyays even easier, on Thursday the SCOTUS ruled that the President could not end the DACA program. With the program reinstated, hundreds of thousands of undocumented immigrants can stay working and living in the country they’ve grown up in. If you want to learn more about what undocumented people experience, I cannot recommend enough Jose Antonio Vargas’ ‘Dear America.’

That’s a wrap on my Friyays for this week. We’ll see what good news the good Doctor Donnelly can find for us next week! Be well!

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