Honoring Juneteenth


A message from Sharon Harmon, OHS President & CEO

Today, we are taking time to honor one of the most significant dates in African-American history. Juneteenth marks the date that slavery was effectively ended in the United States in 1865.

And yet, more than 156 years later, we are reminded that racial equity is a goal that we have not yet achieved. Among ongoing racial disparities and countless other examples of prejudice in our society, the murder of George Floyd was a stark reminder that the depths of systemic racism in our country run deep. We must do better and continue to demand fair treatment to all members of our community.

On this historic day, we are encouraging our employees and volunteers to take time to learn about the significance of Juneteenth. It is our responsibility every day to continue to learn and play a part in building racial equity.

We believe that Black Lives Matter, and we join with those fighting for change and raising their voice.

Central to our mission of creating a More Humane Society is our belief in — and a firm commitment to — diversity and inclusivity in all aspects of our work and services.

This past year we have focused inward and taken steps to listen, learn and do better. This includes the formation of a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Committee comprised of employees and a volunteer from across the shelter, as well as work being done by our executive team and Board of Directors. We are opening a dialogue and taking a hard look at our policies and practices to identify blind spots and ensure that our actions are contributing to a More Humane Society for everyone.

If you are interested in learning more about the work being done by our DEI Committee, contact them directly at [email protected].