By now, many of you have noticed or heard about the widespread mobilization around Juneteenth. Many of you may wonder what it is and why it’s so important.
Juneteenth, also referred to as Freedom Day, is a holiday celebrated by many Black Americans on June 19th to commemorate the emancipation of enslaved people in the United States. The holiday was first celebrated in Texas, where on that date in 1865, after the Civil War ended, slaves (approximately 250,000 people) were declared free.
Many forget that, although we celebrate July 4th as our American Independence Day, enslaved blacks were not free in 1776. It took almost 90 years for the Emancipation Proclamation, signed in January of 1863, to “end” slavery and another two years for the law to be communicated to the Confederate states further south.
In 2020, many are just now beginning to acknowledge the holiday. The COVID-19 pandemic that is disproportionately affecting the black population, partnered with the recent tragic deaths of unarmed black men and women, have increased the attention of Juneteenth across the nation and has shown the nation has a long road toward equity.
United Way of Greater Cincinnati reaffirms its commitment to learning, partnering with, and supporting efforts to eliminate inequity and injustice in our region.
We stand in solidarity with our diverse communities, and encourage our staff, partners, donors and volunteers to take time to volunteer, reflect and celebrate what Juneteenth means to them.
For more than 100 years, UWGC has worked to provide the health, education, and financial stability for every person – this includes ridding our community of inequities that lead to racial injustice, oppression and violence against people of color.
We can make a difference and United is the way to make sure it happens. Live United.