As we continue on our Equity Journey, we believe that recognizing and celebrating important historical events is critical to achieving adaptation. It is through education and by recognizing our collective history that we can correct the present and create a more beautiful future. For this reason and many more, it was decided last year that in 2021 (and for the first time in National Able Network’s history), we are officially honoring Juneteenth as a paid holiday across the entire organization.
Juneteenth, also known as Freedom Day, commemorates the day the last enslaved African Americans in the U.S. became free. This holiday has been celebrated for over 150 years primarily by the Black community. Following the racial reckoning that began with the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis, MN, many organizations and political figures have since reintroduced the importance of celebrating Juneteenth and making it a national holiday. At the end of May 2021, Illinois passed a bill (just waiting on the Governor’s signature!) that would make Juneteenth a paid holiday for all state employees in 2022. Even more recently, on June 17, 2021, Juneteenth National Independence Day has become an official U.S. federal holiday.
Let Juneteenth be an opportunity to learn and celebrate! We invite you to begin with the resources below.
- So You Want to Learn About Juneteenth: This New York Times provides an intricate introduction to the most common questions about the holiday.
- The Historical Legacy of Juneteenth: In this article from the National Museum of African American History & Culture, we learn the historical significance of the holiday.
- How to Celebrate Juneteenth This Year: From supporting Black-owned businesses to cooking traditional foods, there are tons of ways to celebrate the holiday and this article covers many of them.
For more information, please visit the Juneteenth 2020 blog.