Juneteenth, the official name of the federal holiday Juneteenth National Independence Day, also called Emancipation Day, Freedom Day, Jubilee Day, Black Independence Day, and Juneteenth Independence Day, is a holiday commemorating the end of slavery in the United States, observed annually on June 19. This year Juneteenth falls on Sunday, June 19, 2022.
In 1863, during the American Civil War, Pres. Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation, which declared more than three million enslaved people living in the Confederate states to be free. However, more than two years would pass before the news reached African Americans living in Texas. It was not until Union soldiers arrived in Galveston, Texas, on June 19, 1865, that the state’s residents finally learned that slavery had been abolished. The formerly enslaved people began celebrating with prayer, feasting, song, and dance.
As part of the leadership’s commitment to Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, Belonging, and Accessibility, President/CEO Dr. Alicia B. Harvey-Smith approved Juneteenth as an official PTC holiday. PTC recognized the holiday and day of service on Monday, June 20. The purpose was to reflect, participate in community service activities, and educate yourself on ways to promote diversity and inclusion in personal and professional environments. However, you chose to celebrate, it is our hope that you used the time to learn more about the contributions, sacrifices, courage, resilience, and talents of African American people. Juneteenth is one of many ways we can participate in developing our cultural competence and cultural responsiveness.