June 19, 2020


Today is Juneteenth. If you don’t know the history of Juneteenth, check out this article and video from the National Museum of African American History & Culture.

I saw a tweet this morning that said, “Juneteenth! Free-ish since 1865.” This is a day to celebrate, but also a day to reflect on the enduring legacy of slavery and the work that still needs to be done. In an Atlantic article published this morning, Kellie Carter Jackson shared, “If not followed with substantive change, the relatively recent scramble to acknowledge Juneteenth will just feel like virtue signaling, acts of solidarity that ring hollow.”

At EdNC, today and every day we are reflecting on our role and the media’s role in perpetuating structural racism. This work is ongoing, both personally and organizationally. If you missed Mebane Rash’s article about EdNC’s role in racial equity, read it here and give us your feedback here. On a personal level, I’ve found these anti-racist scaffolded resources particularly helpful.

Also this week, the social media campaign #BlackoutBestsellerList has been encouraging readers to buy books by Black authors. I’ve learned immensely from the storytelling of Black authors like Colson Whitehead, Ta-Nehisi Coates, Jesmyn Ward, Tayari Jones, and Yaa Gyasi, all of whom I highly recommend if you are looking for fiction.

Need to know: COVID-19

  • As of noon on Friday, June 19, there were 49,840 confirmed cases in all 100 counties. See cases by county here.
  • Positive tests as a percentage of total tests are at 9%.
  • Hospitalizations continue to rise. As of June 19, 871 people were currently hospitalized with roughly 20% of ICU beds available.
  • From March 15 to June 18, 1,066,318 North Carolinians have filed unemployment insurance claims. The state has paid 712,164 claimants.

COVID-19’s impact on college students

The Hope Center recently published results from a national survey of college students (both two- and four-year students) during the pandemic, and the results paint a grim picture. Over 38,000 students attending 54 colleges and universities in 26 states took the survey, including students at Wake Tech Community College. Here’s what they said:

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These national results are similar to what we found when we surveyed over 8,000 community college students in North Carolina. In our survey, we found that three-quarters of respondents had lost a job, lost income, or had their hours cut. See the full results here.

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  • Lack of Juneteenth lessons highlights shallow depth of Black history curriculum

    Education Dive | 06/17/2020

  • Land loss has plagued black America since emancipation – is it time to look again at ‘black commons’ and collective ownership?

    The Conversation | 06/02/2020

  • Sources of Self-Regard: Self-Portraits From Black Photographers Reflecting on America

    New York Times | 06/19/2020

  • Some States Continue With Flood Resilience Planning Despite Coronavirus Challenges

    Stateline | 06/02/2020

  • COVID makes complicated foster care system more so

    North Carolina Health News | 06/19/2020

  • Leandro action plan for next year: How will the state ensure a sound basic education for all?

    EducationNC | 06/16/2020

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