American Society for Reproductive Medicine Recognizes Juneteenth as Holiday
Jun 18, 2020
Published in: ASRM Bulletin
Offices to Close in Observance of Freedom Day, June 19Juneteenth commemorates June 19, 1865, when Union General Gordon Granger read federal orders in Galveston, Texas, that all previously enslaved people in Texas were free. Although the Emancipation Proclamation had formally freed them almost two and a half years earlier, Texas was the most remote of the slave states, so enforcement of the proclamation was slow to take effect. In light of recent tragic events and the need to recognize the culture of systemic racism in our nation, ASRM offices will be closed tomorrow.
As you may know, Reproductive Medicine has played a tumultuous part in racial inequity. From the untreated 600 Black men infected with Syphilis in the Tuskegee experiment, to over 2000 Black women involuntarily sterilized by the Eugenics movement - our predecessors did not have a pristine record of ‘doing no harm.’
But Juneteenth is an opportunity for us to continue learning, connecting with each other, and reflecting on how we can move forward and achieve systemic change. ASRM recognizes that racial trauma in America is not new, but through recent events there is an overwhelming consensus that this time needs to be different. June 19, or Freedom Day, carries heavier significance in this moment.
As part of our commitment to diversity, inclusion and equity - we have established a task force to produce recommendations on how to address the health disparities and non-inclusivity in our field and organization. This task force is Chaired by Michael Thomas, MD, ASRM Secretary and Chair of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of Cincinnati.
We invite you to join us tomorrow in acknowledging the historic pain caused by racial inequality and celebrate racial diversity – which only makes us stronger. Recognize Juneteenth, facing our nation’s 400-year history of discrimination and segregation; for the betterment of future generations, whom we are devoted to in our field.
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