It’s Juneteenth! What does that mean to you?


On June 19th, 1865, enslaved African-Americans in Texas were notified that they were free—more than two years after the Emancipation Proclamation was signed. Over 150 years later, one way we commemorate this event is through our continuous journey toward equity.

For some, Juneteenth represents a time to celebrate and uplift African-American culture and families. For others, it serves as motivation to invest in resources for communities that have had to bear the weight of inequities in our country for centuries. And for many, it is a day to reflect on the harsh reality that populations in the exact same place can experience life in vastly different ways, with disparate access to health, food, wealth, education, justice, and opportunity based on the social construct of race.

When we “commemorate freedom,” we commit to ensuring the intentional practices of unconditional allyship and effective equity going forward. We are obligating ourselves to lift while we climb and to demonstrate upstander behaviors, even when it is uncomfortable. We are signing up for life-long learning and reflecting honestly on our past.

Understanding our history has been an instrumental part of my own leadership journey to ensure that the future is created with our values of equity, diversity,respect, and belonging at the forefront, lest the past be repeated. I am grateful for the hundreds of ODLC members who have engaged in the many educational resources offerings and experiences for nearly four years. Together, we have recognized the expressions of racism of healthcare, internal systems of power, and the leadership strategies to achieve equitable outcomes.

Co-creating a healthy future where everyone can thrive matters to ALL OF US. As a unique and relevant organization unified around a common mission,ODLC will continue to provide leaders and teams with opportunities to connect, learn, grow, and succeed in this journey. We cannot do this work and achieve our goals without YOU. I invite you all to rise to the occasion and use your power, positions, access, networks, and talents to stand in the gaps that persist – and then eliminate those gaps.

One such opportunity is being offered this week at Duke Health (see below). I am honored to co-chair this event with ODLC member and trauma surgeon Dr.Christian Pean. Please take a look at the agenda and pull some inspiration to bring similar discussions and initiatives to your environments.

So….what does Juneteenth mean to you?

What are you going to do to take your impact to the next level?

How can ODLC support you?

Send me a message and let me know.

We are truly better together,

Dr. Erica Taylor
ODLC Founder

Written by Dr. Taylor
Founder, CEO of ODLC Practice: Duke University Subspecialty: Hand Surgery Dr. Taylor believes the unique combination of our lived experiences, passion for changing the landscape of orthopaedics, and strengths in strategic diversity leadership make the ODLC powerful and inimitable.