Diversity and Inclusiveness
At Assumption, our Catholic and Augustinian roots facilitate, in a unique way, the development of a community that reflects the richness of our diverse world.
Statement on Diversity
At Assumption, our Catholic and Augustinian roots facilitate, in a unique way, the development of a community that reflects the richness of our diverse world. In the Confessions, St. Augustine reminds us of the Biblical teaching that all people are created in the image and likeness of God, the foundation for the Catholic tradition’s respect for the inherent dignity of all human beings. This respect is at the heart of who we are at Assumption University.
For this reason, we seek to nurture and are deeply committed to a community in which the human dignity of every member of the University is preserved and celebrated. Therefore, Assumption provides the means through which each member has an opportunity to contribute to the vitality of the whole, a contribution that is valued, as is each individual.
(For information on Juneteenth, please scroll down.)
“Racism is a sin: a sin that divides the human family, and violates the fundamental human dignity of those called to be children of the same Father…Indeed racism is more than a disregard for the words of Jesus; it is a denial of the truth of dignity of each human being revealed by the mystery of the Incarnation.” United States Conference of Catholic Bishops Pastoral Letter on Racism, Brothers and Sisters to Us.
“Assumption University is fully committed to racial inclusivity and diversity that welcomes every member and prospective member of the University community for who they are: a person ‘created in the image of the one God.’ More than a commitment, it is a priority. It is both a moral imperative for a Catholic institution and an institutional imperative.” Assumption University President Francesco C. Cesareo, Ph.D.
More Information and Opportunities:
Assumption's Admissions Office offers staff who are dedicated to answering your questions and assisting you with the application process. Contact Michael DiPiazza, Director of Admissions.
For questions on diversity initiatives, the Cross-Cultural Center or ALANA (African, Latino/Hispanic, Asian and Native American Network), contact Conway Campbell, Dean of Students, or Judy Heersink, Coordinator for Cross-Cultural Programming.
Assumption offers a number of clubs and opportunities to engage in and promote diversity on campus.
Juneteenth (short for June Nineteenth) is often referred to as "America's second Independence Day" or “Freedom Day” and commemorates the end of slavery in the United States. Although the Emancipation Proclamation was signed on January 1, 1863, it wasn’t until two and a half years later, on June 19, 1865, that this was communicated to those enslaved in Galveston, Texas. Juneteenth was celebrated across Texas communities the following year, and in 1980 the state made it an official holiday. Since then, 45 more states—including Massachusetts, which recognized the day in 2007—and the District of Columbia commemorate Juneteenth as a state holiday.
On Juneteenth, we remember and pray for all of those who suffered under the oppression of slavery and continue to suffer from injustice, threats of violence, and needless death. Assumption is a community of faith, love, and respect. During June 2020, many productive conversations were held among members of the administration and students. That dialogue continues.
The History of Juneteenth
Juneteenth is a holiday commemorating the abolition of slavery in the United States. At the time of the Civil War, roughly four million African Americans, one-eighth of the nation’s population, were enslaved. Most lived in states that seceded to form the Confederacy, but many were also held in border states like Maryland and Missouri, which remained in the Union. On January 1, 1863, President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation ending slavery in territory under Confederate control. Until the South surrendered, however, it was largely a symbolic gesture. Some enslaved people freed themselves by escaping behind Union lines. Others did not even learn they had been granted their freedom until after the war ended.
Word reached Texas on June 19, 1865, when the Union Army arrived in Galveston. General Gordon Granger informed the Black community of Lincoln’s Proclamation and further declared “an absolute equality of rights and rights of property between former masters and slaves.” From then on, African Americans in Galveston and across the country have marked the anniversary of “Juneteenth” with parades and prayer meetings, cookouts and concerts, and family and community gatherings. June 19 became a statewide holiday in Texas in 1980. Many other states and cities have since followed suit.
Juneteenth holds special significance for African Americans as a celebration of Black freedom, resilience, and pride. And because African American history is American history, it is an anniversary everyone can observe and celebrate. Like the Fourth of July, it honors our national ideals of liberty and equality. But Juneteenth is also a day to remember how the United States has fallen short of those ideals, whether in the form of slavery, Jim Crow, or systemic racism. Building “a more perfect Union” means continuously addressing the gaps between the nation’s principles and its practices to ensure that American democracy is worthy of the name. As civil rights activist Fannie Lou Hamer proclaimed: “Nobody’s free until everybody’s free.”
Suggested Reading and Listening for Juneteenth
- Frederick Douglass, “What to the Slave is the Fourth of July?” (July 5, 1852)
- George Moses Horton, “On Liberty and Slavery” (1829)
- Belinda Sutton, Petition to the Massachusetts General Court (February 14, 1783)
- Sweet Honey in the Rock, “No More Auction Block (Many Thousands Gone)” (African American spiritual)