FVAP Honors Juneteenth
Juneteenth, or Freedom Day, is the oldest nationally celebrated commemoration of the ending of slavery in America as it was historically known. This holiday is considered to be the longest running African-American holiday and has been called America’s second Independence Day. While we honor this milestone in history, FVAP recognizes that many systems and institutions still exist that enslave and jeopardize human freedoms.
FVAP recognizes and observes Juneteenth as part of our year-round commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion. We celebrate the victories of the past as we recognize the challenges of the present; we commit to a better, more equitable future for all, especially Black Americans.
In 2021, twenty-five years after the first bill to recognize Juneteenth was introduced, President Joe Biden signed into law the “Juneteenth National Independence Day Act”. FVAP staff honored this historic day by reflecting on its meaning and connection to our work, clients, community and staff.
June 19th is recognized as “Juneteenth”, a commemoration signifying the end of enslavement for African descendants of the transatlantic slave trade. In 1863, President Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation was the public pronouncement of the end of slavery. It wasn’t until June 19th, 1865 – more than two years later – that the Proclamation was announced to the enslaved people living in Galveston, Texas.
Juneteenth is a day of celebration, a celebration of independence like the Fourth of July. This day of pride signifies liberation and serves as a starting point for honoring the many contributions African Americans have made toward the industrialization of the United States. It is also a time for reflection and to recommit to daily actions to dismantle the institutional racism that still exists in our society.