Important Steps Toward Racial Equity at Encompass

We're pausing to share some important updates on Encompasses work toward racial equity. First, starting this year, Encompass will be pausing to observe Juneteenth as a paid holiday. Juneteenth, also known as Freedom Day, Jubilee Day, and Liberation Day, marks a deeply significant point in our nation’s history. This holiday commemorates the day in 1865 that the last enslaved Black people in our country learned they had been freed from bondage. Honoring the joy, pain, and importance of this monumental day is long overdue. This year, since June 19 falls on a Sunday, Encompass will be observing the Juneteenth holiday on Monday, June 20. 

Encompass to observe Juneteenth as paid holiday this year

Second, we have renamed the day after Thanksgiving, “Native American Heritage Day.” Observing the Thanksgiving holiday with no acknowledgement of the genocide and oppression that is deeply rooted in its history – and in the history of our nation – is actively perpetuating oppression. Renaming the day after Thanksgiving is a small step we can take as an agency to call out injustice. In addition to renaming the day, we will be sharing resources and information that honors, celebrates, and uplifts the perspectives and contributions of Native American communities that have long been overshadowed.


Encompass is committed to listening deeply, bearing witness, and *taking action* toward racial equity at every level of our organization. We’ve made these decisions thanks to the ongoing work of our Racial Equity Workgroup, which is comprised of staff members from across the agency who are committed to leading agencywide efforts toward racial equity. Based on ongoing conversations with staff, the workgroup strongly advocated for this change, and we are thrilled to have the full support of our Board of Trustees to make it happen. 

Lastly, we’re pleased to announce that the Office of Head Start has selected two of Encompass’s own Head Start leaders to serve as members of its Racial Equity Community of Practice mentor group. In these mentor roles, our Child and Family Development Director, Erendira Guerrero, and our Senior Manager, ERSEA (Eligibility, Recruitment, Selection, Enrollment, and Attendance) & Governance, Ramona McCabe, have been tasked with presenting Encompass Head Start’s specific equity goals with other Regional Representatives and sharing how we are incorporating these goals in our program. We are honored to have change leaders like Erendira and Ramona at the helm of our program and are encouraged to see the Office of Head Start prioritizing this important work!

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