Photo Credit: Valentino Vecchietti's 2021 redesign of the Pride Progress flag to include the intersex flag
Pride Month is observed each June in the United States in commemoration of the Stonewall Uprising. The month recognizes the contributions of LGBTQ+ Americans and raises awareness about efforts for equal justice and equal opportunity for the LGBTQ+ community. To learn more, watch “Stonewall Uprising” on PBS, part of a special collection of films, series and short stories that explore the LGBTQ+ experience. You can also explore what it means to be an ally through a series of resources from the Human Rights Campaign.
On June 19, 1865, enslaved African-Americans in Galveston, Texas, were told they were free by federal troops. This date is significant because "the troops’ arrival came a full two and a half years after the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation." The Juneteenth holiday received its name by combining June and 19. The day is also sometimes called “Juneteenth Independence Day,” “Freedom Day” or “Emancipation Day.” Juneteenth is the oldest known celebration commemorating the ending of slavery in the United States. To learn more about the history of Juneteenth visit the Juneteenth history website.
June is National Immigrant Heritage Month in the United States. The I Am An Immigrant Foundation seeks to celebrate our shared heritage as an immigrant nation and the important contributions to our economy, culture and common identity by immigrants from all around the world. National Immigrant Heritage Month formally began in 2014 and seeks to give immigrants and refugees the opportunity to be proud and celebrate their background.
June was first declared as World Refugee Awareness Month in 2001 to acknowledge the strength, courage and perseverance of millions of refugees who live around the globe. World Refugee Day takes place on June 20, 2021 to embrace the many skills, talents, faiths, and values that refugees bring both culturally and economically to society. The theme for this year’s day is " together we heal, learn and shine!"
Long before California, Sonoma County, and Sonoma State University, the land around us was inhabited by indigenous peoples collectively known as the Coast Miwok and Southern Pomo. Now they are formally recognized as the Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria and chaired by Greg Sarris, who also holds the Graton Rancheria Endowed Chair at SSU.
Sonoma State acknowledge's in gratitude the Rancheria’s ancestors for their stewardship of the land and all of its resources, and thank the current membership for their partnership in a number of educational initiatives, including the Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria Learning Center at the Fairfield Osborn Preserve, located on Sonoma Mountain.
As Professor Sarris writes in his 2017 book How A Mountain Was Made, “It is said that Coyote was sitting atop Sonoma Mountain when he decided to create the world and people—but that is part of the big story of the Mountain..." We are now all part of the big story of the Mountain, and our stewardship of its resources, including our county and our university, is an ongoing, vital responsibility we recognize and gladly accept. Learn more about our Native American Initiative at Sonoma State University.
The Grove, situated on the Sonoma State campus lake, was established to remember and honor those who endured, and continue to endure, global acts of genocide. Punctuated by a sculpture designed by Associate Professor of Sculpture Jann Nunn, this contemplative space also features a sapling from the original horse chestnut tree that stood outside the Secret Annex of the Anne Frank house in Germany, where she hid from the Nazis for more than two years and composed her famous diary. Sonoma State’s sapling – one of only 11 granted by the Anne Frank Center – was planted in the Grove in 2013, in acknowledgment of our dedication to the values of equity, tolerance, civil rights, and social justice. You can find more information about the Grove and the sapling here.
Sonoma State University is committed to creating a community in which bias and intolerance have no place. It is our expectation that all students, faculty, and staff work together to honor this commitment and hold each other accountable to create an open and inclusive environment. Learn more about the Seawolf Commitment.