The Juneteenth celebration has a deep historical context. It is the oldest nationally-celebrated commemoration of the end of slavery in the United States, and recognizes June 19, 1865 when Union Major General Gordon Granger read federal orders stating that all enslaved people in Texas were free. The observance of Juneteenth continues to evolve as a celebration of African American freedom and achievement. This year’s Juneteenth comes at an incredibly significant moment in the United States. Following the tragic killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and many other Black Americans, the United States has witnessed one of the largest social justice movements to promote racial equity since the Civil Rights movement of the 1960s.
This Juneteenth we encourage you to use your voice to talk about diversity, inclusion, and equity with your family, friends, and community. We at the Y are learning with you, alongside our families and communities, and look to organizations deeply entrenched in this work to support and shape our conversations.
As we embark on this journey, we invite you to join us in our pledge to dismantle racial inequity and disrupt unjust systems that disproportionately cause harm to many, specifically people of color and Black Americans, at the advantage of a few. Review and reflect on the below resources that can help guide these on-going conversations within your community.
Learn more about Juneteenth with this interactive tour put together by the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History & Culture.
Check out events in the Chicago area here.
Visit Teaching Tolerance’s article around acknowledging hard history while also empowering students to be advocates for change.
Explore these Action Guides created by EmbraceRace which help children become thoughtful, informed, and BRAVE about race
Refer to and share this list of resources to help Black people and other people of color care for their mental health through the trauma of racism
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