Building a Way Forward By Knowing Our Past

Explore three tools that can help us gain appreciation for the past and develop awareness for the future.


I’ve thought about the history lessons that I’ve been taught throughout high school and eventually college. I’ve been fortunate enough to have been taught by many different teachers but as I age, I have come to find out that the most important lessons I have learned about history…my history, has been out of the classroom. 

I was 23 years old when I first heard about Juneteenth. The longest-running African American holiday, Juneteenth (short for June 19th) celebrates the end of slavery within the United States in 1865. While most people might be familiar with the emancipation declaration by Abraham Lincoln in 1863, not everyone in Confederate territory was free until June 19th, 1865. 

While it’s painful to have gone through an educational system that has managed to skip over such an integral part of history, I’ve discovered that I have embarked on an exciting journey of seeing just how deep my roots go. As I slowly uncover parts of my history as an adult, hearing the story of those who came before me has given me a newfound sense of strength and resilience. I have learned that I am made of the hopes and dreams of my ancestors and as I celebrate…