What is Juneteenth?

“Nobody’s free until everybody’s free.” – Fannie Lou Hamer

In honor of #Juneteenth2023, we must reflect on the work that still needs to be done to reach true freedom and racial equality.

Although slavery in the U.S. officially ended when the Emancipation Proclamation took effect on Jan. 1, 1863, the practice of slavery persisted beyond that date, and emancipation had to be enforced. It took Union troops arriving in Galveston, Texas, on June 19, 1865, to announce the end of slavery, to free the last enslaved African Americans. However, some of the enslaved still weren’t freed. As some slave owners waited until after the harvest to notify the people they enslaved of their freedom. Still, that first Juneteenth, a combination of the date, “June” and “nineteenth,” was the first day in history when all people living in the U.S. were declared to be free.

Why is honoring #Juneteenth important?

While Juneteenth is symbolic of freedom, it’s also symbolic of the freedom Black Americans are still being denied. Everyone has a role in the fight for Black freedom. From youth to volunteers, employees to executives. From schools to nonprofits to corporations and to the communities they inhabit. Juneteenth is a reminder liberation demands action.

Here are a few ways we can take action to honor this holiday today:
➡️ Honor the day by educating and raising awareness.
➡️ Celebrate and amplify the voices of Black Americans including youth, employees, and volunteers.
➡️ Support Black-owned businesses and organizations.
➡️ Honor the day, by supporting year-round.

Let’s work to #standinthegap for our community’s most vulnerable populations and ensure that we live up to the call to action from Fannie Lou Hamer to ensure that “everybody’s free.”

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