Association House Recognizes Juneteenth
Juneteenth is not just Black History, it is American History. On January 1, 1863, the Emancipation Proclamation was signed by President Abraham Lincoln for what should have been the day slavery was officially abolished in the United States. For most held in slavery however, the emancipation turned out to be just another day. It took another two and a half years for Union Troops to arrive in the last bastion of slavery, Galveston, Texas, finally ending slavery in the United Sates. This birthed the celebration that we know today as Juneteenth.
Last year, Association House announced Juneteenth as an agency-wide holiday and President Biden followed soon thereafter, recognizing Juneteenth as a federal holiday and making it “the youngest federal holiday” in the United States. Amid local, national and even international unrest on behalf of the African American community, the acknowledgement of Juneteenth was a step in the right direction. However, simply acknowledging a holiday is not enough. Since the federal acknowledgement of Juneteenth, the African American community has continued to experience inequities including unnecessary violence, higher levels of hate crimes and abuse from law enforcement, a rise in poverty, and passage of voter suppression measures and other laws that disproportionately impact people of color.
Since last year, AHC has continued its commitment to engaging with our participants and our communities. Noting our past communications, we continue with the challenge of increasing the number of African American staff within the agency. We are well underway in our strategic planning surrounding DEI, specifically in our work with inQUEST Consulting which has already begun focus groups within the agency to gather important information that will be used to take meaningful action toward creating a more inclusive Association House community.
Juneteenth serves as an observance of the fight for equality, and a celebration of African American life, freedom and resilience. To that end, we celebrate Juneteenth in honor of the contributions of African Americans, and as a reminder that real change, though often frustrating and painful, is possible. The struggle towards racial equity continues.
As we have stated in the past - Black Lives Matter today and always, and we at Association House will continue standing together to reject hate and support our Black communities.
This weekend, please take the opportunity to learn, connect, and reflect on how we can move forward to achieve permanent and lasting change. For those that are interested, here are a few ideas:
Visit one of the 160 African American museums, sites, and cultural centers around the country, including the DuSable Museum of Black History and the A. Philip Randolph Pullman Porter Museum right here in Chicago!
Shop Black-owned Businesses and don't forget to reference our AHC black owned business virtual index for local businesses to support!