News and commentary to champion excellence, belonging, and community at MIT
MIT School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences
Summer 2022 Edition


A family Juneteenth picnic; Photo: iStock

Hold sacred the history | Assistant Dean Tracie Jones
Juneteenth, also known as Emancipation Day in the African American community, marks the day, June 19, 1865, when Union soldiers arrived in Galveston, Texas to announce the end of the Civil War and slavery. The public celebration that day in Galveston began an annual tradition now observed across the U.S. as a day of reflection, festivities, remembrance of ancestors — and dedication to helping the nation fulfill its ideals.

There are many ways to celebrate Juneteenth: You can read about the holiday; watch a video on its history; consider the meanings of freedom; make traditional cuisine for a cookout or picnic with family and friends; attend an MIT event or another community event; or support Black-owned businesses and organizations. Whatever you choose to do — enjoy the holiday and hold sacred the history!

About Juneteenth
Making A Just Society: Humanistic Resources at MIT
MIT and the Legacy of Slavery


Cell phone with still from a video of police violence; collage

Bearing Witness/Seeking Justice: Videography in the Hands of the People
“We’re encouraging people in the Greater Boston area to attend, including young people, concerned citizens, community-based organizations — everyone who cares about democracy, media, justice, and truth-telling."
Story + Information + Register


Heather Paxson, William R. Kenan Jr. Professor of Anthropology, and Program Head. Photo: Allegra Boverman  

Culture is a meaning-making practice | Heather Paxson, Head, MIT Anthropology
"Anthropologists originated the modern understanding of 'culture,' as describing a shared field of beliefs, values, and habituated ways of behaving that give meaning to daily life. What does anthropology — the scientific study of humanity — have to say about 'MIT culture'?"


Audience joins in event by Rambax, MIT's Senegalese Drumming Ensemble. Photo: Jon Sachs

"The sharing of joy, whether physical, emotional, psychic, or intellectual, forms a bridge between the sharers which can be the basis for understanding much of what is not shared between them, and lessens the threat of their difference.” ― Audre Lorde

Share your joyful experiences
Joy is an integral part of human well-being. Read Audre Lorde's insights about caring for ourselves as an act of social innovation — and, if you wish, share some things that bring you joy and well-being. Send your thoughts to, and let us know if you prefer your contribution to be credited or anonymous.


From A Father’s Lullaby, an immersive work by OpenDocLab fellow Rashin Fahandej. Photo: Aram Bogosian

Practical Resources for Opportunities and Challenges

An ever-growing archive of resources, examples, and how-to articles to assist you in everyday work and life situations.
Browse the Resources



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ENVISION is published by SHASS Communications
Executive Editor: Tracie Jones, Assistant Dean
Editor and Designer: Emily Hiestand
Publication Associate: Alison Lanier

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MIT School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences
17 June 2022