On June 19, 1865 in Galveston, Texas, the last group of enslaved people in the U.S. learned they were free two years after the Emancipation Proclamation ending slavery was issued.
Today, Juneteenth marks this historic moment of celebration and deliverance. But 155 years later, here in 2020, there is still much work to be done for freedom.
In the face of police brutality and racism that we challenge today, Charlotte Center for Legal Advocacy stands with the Black community and its allies across the country in the movement to make change.
Charlotte Center for Legal Advocacy has chosen to close its offices to observe Juneteenth as a small but important step toward racial reconciliation for our country. We observe this day to show support for our Black neighbors, colleagues and clients who deserve to be treated equally as human beings.
We celebrate Independence Day as a nation even though enslaved people were deliberately excluded from the ideals of freedom laid out in the Declaration of Independence.
We celebrate Juneteenth and imagine what our country could be if we prioritized racial justice and equity to build a truly inclusive democracy that realizes the ideals our country was founded upon.
Today also encourages dialogue around the deferred dream of freedom that has always existed for Black people in the United States. Though these people finally learned that slavery had ended 155 years ago, they were not truly free then, and neither are Black Americans today.
At Charlotte Center for Legal Advocacy, we fight for equal justice under the law every day for our clients, a majority of whom are people of color disproportionately impacted by poverty. Racial justice and equity are core to our work.
Black people were not included when the phrase “justice for all” was originally coined, yet equal justice for all is impossible to realize without eradicating the systemic racism that pervades our society.
We recognize the critical role our organization plays in building a more just community. Doing so requires taking a hard look at our practices and making sure that everything we do lives up to our standard of justice—one that truly ensures equity and opportunity for all.
Happy Juneteenth from Charlotte Center for Legal Advocacy.
“[Recognizing Juneteenth] was an important, positive statement that is part of a larger demonstration of our agency to work toward racial reconciliation.”
Executive Director Kenneth Schorr in the Charlotte Observer: Amid anti-racism protests, Charlotte businesses make Juneteenth a paid holiday
Celebrate Juneteenth with us:
Educate yourself: Spend the day reading about Juneteenth’s history, including how black families felt after being emancipated. Watch the documentary 13th on Netflix, or engage with other movies, shows, books and podcasts about systemic racism.
Participate in online Juneteenth events: Tune in to the virtual Juneteenth music festival or online gala, the following contains information on local events
Reflect: While slavery ended in 1865, systemic racism continues to this day. Use June 19 as a day to reflect on critical issues that perpetuate discrimination against black people in America and throughout the world.
Place a sign in your front yard: Raise awareness and show your support for Juneteenth by decorating a sign for your front yard or door. This is a great way to help educate younger kids in your neighborhood who may not know about the holiday.
Celebrate with a barbecue: Gather your friends and family together (safely) to celebrate freedom.
Keep the spirit of this special day alive by continuing to fight for justice for ALL!