We stand as allies for all by striving to uphold Lucet values
By Gina Clark, Quality Management Specialist and Lucet DEI Committee Member
Juneteenth is the observance of both pain and pride rooted in the spirits of Black Americans. Each year on this day, we commemorate the end of slavery in the United States, and it offers all Americans the opportunity to activate a sense of communal purpose through collective sharing and celebrating. We celebrate our heritage, history and each other. We recognize how far we’ve come and reflect on the work that we still need to do.
“Lucet is a company founded on improving the lives of the people we serve, and it’s our responsibility to be aware of the challenges and barriers our members face that impact their mental health. Our behaviors are tangible just like our history is.”
Gina Clark – Quality Management Specialist, DEI Committee Member
Though the United States made a monumental step forward by electing a president who opposed slavery, Abraham Lincoln, it was a long, unbalanced process toward emancipation with slave owners conspiring to keep their newfound freedom a secret from those who were enslaved.
Approximately 4 million people were enslaved in the United States when Lincoln became president. Black Americans were viewed as business transactions bound for a life of enslavement. Battered, bruised and bound by heavy chains, they were commodities to be bought, sold and exploited by their white slave owners. Alarmed by the election of an anti-slavery president, Confederate slave owners, who were unwilling to give up their property, migrated to Texas with more than 150,000 enslaved black persons.
In January 1863, President Lincoln declared the Emancipation Proclamation, promising freedom to millions of Black Americans enslaved within the Confederate states. But almost three years after the proclamation was issued, Black Americans in Galveston, Texas remained illegally and immorally deprived of their freedom and continued in bondage.
To take control and enforce the Emancipation Proclamation, Major General Gordon Granger and Union Army troops arrived in Galveston on June 19, 1865 – it then seemed that all enslaved Black Americans were finally free. Still, six more months went by before the 13th amendment, abolishing slavery would be passed on December 6, 1865. Finally, through continued struggle, chattel slavery had officially ended in the United States.
Those Black Americans in Galveston, Texas who were freed from enslavement celebrated their long, overdue emancipation on June 19. Our nation commemorates Juneteenth (a portmanteau of June and nineteenth) as a day to celebrate human freedom and dignity, to reflect on the horrors of slavery and to commit ourselves to equality. As a society, we’re becoming more aware of the work needed to address and rectify the unfinished business of the abolition movement, such as inequality, institutional racism, social injustice, white supremacy, hatred, bigotry and discrimination. Continued progress will only happen with ongoing education in our homes, churches, schools and workplaces.
Lucet is a company founded on improving the lives of the people we serve, and it’s our responsibility to be aware of the challenges and barriers our members face that impact their mental health. We value the sense of purpose and pride that comes from acknowledging others’ true humanity. We proudly honor the countless heroes lost in the struggle for freedom, and we stand as allies for all by striving to uphold our values: serving everyone with compassion, step up and create value, adapt in a changing world and nurture growth and belonging. Our behaviors are tangible just like our history is. We hold on to the hope of things getting better. This is a hope we instill in our members, our providers and our team members daily.
Gina Clark is a quality management specialist and a DEI committee member at Lucet, The Behavioral Health Optimization Company.