Office of Diversity and Inclusion

Eight JSU employees and students of diverse backgrounds

Diversity refers to the traits and characteristics that make people unique while inclusion refers to the behaviors and social norms that ensure people experience a sense of belonging. Jacksonville State University is committed to celebrating and welcoming differences. Understanding and appreciating interdependence of humanity and cultures. JSU’s Office of Diversity and Inclusion is dedicated to intentionally creating a welcoming environment to all of our students.

Events, Holidays, Observances

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Juneteenth Celebration

Juneteenth Celebration

Thank you all for making Jacksonville State University's first Juneteenth Celebration a great success! The theme of the Office of Diversity and Inclusion for 2022-2023 is "The Beloved Community!" We all came together as a community and had a wonderful time with food, fun games, music and dance. “The Beloved Community” is a term first used by 20th century philosopher-theologian, Josiah Royce, who founded the Fellowship of Reconciliation. Although Royce first used the term, it was Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., who made the term popular. He captured its universal meaning of goodwill for everyone in the world. Dr. King’s Beloved Community is a global vision in which:

  • All people can share in the wealth of the earth
  • Poverty, hunger and homelessness will not be acceptable because it would be prohibited by human decency
  • Racism and all forms of discrimination, intolerance and prejudice will be replaced by an all-inclusive spirit of friendship
  • International disputes will be resolved by peaceful conflict-resolution and reconciliation of adversaries, instead of military power
  • Love and trust will defeat fear and hatred. Peace with justice will prevail over war and military conflict

The Office of Diversity and Inclusion at Jacksonville State University has adopted the philosophy of “The Beloved Community.” We choose to respect and celebrate our uniqueness instead of debate and argue over our differences. One event that will start our practice of becoming The Beloved Community is the observance and celebration of June 19th also known as Juneteenth. Juneteenth is an annual celebration in remembrance of June 19, 1865 when news of The Emancipation Proclamation reached Galveston, Texas. The Emancipation Proclamation was an order by President Abraham Lincoln to free enslaved people. The Proclamation was published in two parts. On September 22, 1862, President Lincoln stated that in 100 days, he would free all enslaved people in the states not under the Union control. On January 1, 1863 President Lincoln named the ten states that the Proclamation applied: Texas, South Carolina, North Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Arkansas, and Virginia. It took over two years for enslaved people to be liberated. In the 157 years since the Emancipation Proclamation, many of our fellow citizens are still seeking true equity. On June 15, 2021 the U.S. Senate unanimously passed a resolution establishing June 19th, Juneteenth National Independence Day, a U.S. holiday. 

June is also African American Music Appreciation Month. Although we realize that music has no ethnicity, June is the month when the nation celebrates African American musical influences which are essential to our nation’s culture.

From Blues, Rock and Roll, Soul, Rhythm and Blues, Rap, Hip Hop, Neo-Soul, music is the fabric of the American tapestry. President Jimmy Carter signed the proclamation in 1979. Music is a vital part of history. Songs and melodies are often used to set the atmosphere, improve our moods, and tell our stories. We look forward to seeing you at our next Juneteenth Celebration on June 15, 2023! Director Charlcie Pettway Vann

View the Photos from the Juneteenth Celebration