June 19, 2020 Blog

Celebrating Juneteenth

Juneteenth is a celebration of the end of slavery. If you’ve never heard of Juneteenth, you are not alone. The fact that so many of us did not learn about Juneteenth in or out of school is another example of the structural racism we are called to fight against.

June 19, 1865 marks the day that 250,000 enslaved people in Texas finally learned of their freedom—more than two years after the emancipation proclamation. Ever since, the day has been recognized as a holiday to celebrate the end of slavery and the freedom of all Americans.

For more about the history of Juneteenth, we suggest this. And for more on why we should all celebrate Juneteenth, read this. We have added our voices to the chorus of those calling for Juneteenth to become a national holiday. You can do the same here.

We hope you’ll join us in celebrating this year. The Community Justice Action Fund, along with partners from across the country, is hosting a National Day of Healing to address the trauma and violence that communities are experiencing, memorialize loved ones lost, celebrate life, and learn techniques to stay healthy and well during these trying and difficult times.

We also encourage you to seek out local events in your area (and virtual events!) to recognize the day. More information about King County Equity Now’s march can be found here.

In solidarity with those demanding justice for the countless Black lives stolen in acts of state sanctioned violence, our team will also be joining the call to #SayTheirNamesLive. On Juneteenth, we will go live on Facebook to read the names of 340 unarmed Black people who have been killed by police since 2013. We hope you’ll tune in.