• Joel Brown

    Staff Writer

    Portrait of Joel Brown. An older white man with greying brown hair, beard, and mustache and wearing glasses, white collared shirt, and navy blue blazer, smiles and poses in front of a dark grey background.

    Joel Brown is a staff writer at BU Today and Bostonia magazine. He’s written more than 700 stories for the Boston Globe and has also written for the Boston Herald and the Greenfield Recorder. Profile

Comments & Discussion

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There are 12 comments on BU Adds Juneteenth as an Annual Holiday in University Calendar Antiracist Makeover

      1. You can say that about almost any historical leader. Columbus is a sign of pride in Italian American heritage—which for some reason is not provided the same respect as other nationalities. There’s a lot more history to Columbus statues in this country than people acknowledge as well. He was an explorer and helped shape the future of North America. I understand the arguments against (disease, Spain, etc) but should we apply the same lense to every other historical leader? Seems to be a double standard.

        I have no problem acknowledging Juneteenth, but shifting away from Columbus Day is wrong. It’s not just BU.

  1. While I applaud the University for this important action for our community, I continue to be discouraged by the University’s lack of recognition for Veteran’s Day.

  2. Changing Columbus Day is entirely disrespectful to those of us of Italian heritage. Granted, Columbus Day remains a federal holiday, so Columbus Day it shall be known. At a minimum, here at BU, the holiday should be renamed Italian Heritage Day/Indigenous Peoples’ Day.

  3. Great moves! Onward!

    Alum ’05 also has a point. After BU reinstated ROTC following a lengthy hiatus (it was shut down as a result of protests centering on the Viet Nam War), it has a special obligation to recognize that many of our ROTC graduates have gone off to fight in our country’s ongoing military conflicts. (And yes, BU grads fought in many of our previous wars …)

  4. I am glad for these changes, and while (as the article says) these are more symbolic steps, they are steps in the right direction.

    For those arguing that Columbus Day is a day to celebrate Italian heritage – I will agree that for some, that is what the day is used to celebrate. Less to do with Christopher Columbus the person, and more to do with celebrating Italian-Americans. However, the name of the holiday and the person it is associated with is the issue at hand. Changing the name from [Christopher] Columbus Day to Indigenous Peoples Day – celebrating indigenous peoples and reflecting on the history of indigenous peoples and colonization – makes sense and is a good thing.

    I also think that the name should be changed if the focus is intended to be a celebration of Italian-Americans and their heritage. The name of the holiday should reflect that instead of singling out someone who never even explored North America.

  5. I am also Italian American, and feel this is a welcome and long overdue change. Personally, I have no particular attachment to Columbus or his day. Italian culture is not afforded the same respect as others? Well, what about the language and culture of the Taino people?

    Feel free to propose a new holiday, perhaps honoring an actual Italian-American. Or maybe the best way to honor the struggles and accomplishments of Italian immigrants is to reflect on the challenges faced by immigrants today, many of whom have ancestors on this continent thousands of years back but are called “illegal” for crossing a modern national border.

    Just wanted to clarify that not all Italian-Americans are supporters of Columbus Day.

  6. B U continues to refuse to listen and incorporate DOMESTIC PARTNERSHIP BENEFITS in the Faculty and Staff HR benefit packages even though their higher education competitors [Harvard, M I T, Northeastern, Tufts, Wellesley, Wheaton, Bentley, Emerson, Berklee, Suffolk, Simmons] all have language in support of DOMESTIC PARTNERSHIP BENEFITS.

    When will BU ‘wake-up’ and become truly diverse and all-inclusive employer?

    1. BU is not considering adding domestic partner benefits at this time as we provide benefits to legally married spouses of employees and believe our policies provide benefits equitably to all faculty and staff. Within BU’s peer group of 30 universities less than half provide domestic partner benefits.

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