Juneteenth is a time to celebrate, gather as a family, reflect on the past and look to the future. Today we celebrate freedom and self-determination. On this day, we commemorate the freedom of enslaved African Americans.
Juneteenth is celebrated on the anniversary of the order by Major General Gordon Granger proclaiming freedom for slaves in Texas on June 19, 1865, which was two and a half years after the Emancipation Proclamation was issued. In 2021, Juneteenth became a recognized federal holiday.
Juneteenth commemorates a pivotal moment in African American history. Remembering Juneteenth as part of American history acknowledges the historical battles against slavery and racism, but also reminds us of the continuous work that needs to be done. The war on racism in all forms is not over.
While we will celebrate today, Help & Emergency Response also recognizes that our work is far from over. Black women comprise 14% of the U.S. population and 31% of domestic violence fatalities and are statistically nearly 3x more likely than white women to be killed by an intimate partner. (Violence Policy Center, 2022)
45.1% of Black women and 40.1% of Black men have experienced intimate partner physical violence, intimate partner sexual violence and/or intimate partner stalking in their lifetimes. (Breiding, 2014)
62% of LGBTQ intimate partner violence survivors are people of color. (NCAVP, n.d.)
We recognize the need for the development and implementation of culturally-informed strategies aimed specifically at diverse communities of color to effectively address interpersonal violence and homicide. We stand against violence in all communities and while we will continue this mission, today we will celebrate freedom and change so…