Juneteenth message

Dear Colleagues,

Juneteenth is an important day, a day of celebration to commemorate the liberation of the last enslaved people in the USA on June 19th, 1865. A growing number of companies across the country will close to honor this day, and Juneteenth is a recognized state or ceremonial holiday in 47 states. At Rubin Observatory although we do not currently observe this day as a holiday we would like to celebrate it and embrace its importance. To that end, we are proposing to AURA that Juneteenth be recognized as a holiday from 2021 onwards.

In the meantime, motivated by #StrikeForBlackLives and #ShutDownSTEM, we encourage you to continue reflecting on the systemic disadvantages that persist for the Black community in our country, engaging in open discussions about race and equity, and prioritizing actions that contribute to social justice. Last Wednesday many of us in Rubin Observatory paused our normal work and participated in deep discussions that have continued, and we are working on an action plan to address issues of Black representation and equality in our community but would like to hear your ideas too.

We are planning a Town Hall to address ways that Rubin Observatory can be better at including and advocating for Black people in our community. Your input will help us make this event meaningful and impactful; we invite you to share with us your ideas and examples of successful approaches for building this culture.

***Please fill out the survey at the link below by Wednesday Jun 24th, 2020. https://forms.gle/NoYWQDzxxDXAu6UE8 ***

Stay safe and let’s keep having conversations about race and prioritize actions that contribute to social justice!

Ranpal Gill, Rubin Observatory, Head of Communications (rgill@lsst.org)
Steve Kahn, Rubin Observatory Director (skahn@lsst.org)
Bob Blum, Rubin Operations Director (rblum@lsst.org)