As we shared last year, black communities have been recognizing “Juneteenth” and its significance in the U.S. since 1865. From its Galveston, Texas origin in 1865, the observance of June 19th as the African American Emancipation Day has spread across the United States and beyond. Acknowledging Juneteenth as a holiday is a step in the right direction. But, deeper conversations and inclusive actions should take place every single day.
Only last year, President Joe Biden recognized Juneteenth as a U.S. national holiday on June 17, 2021. During this progressive moment, President Biden stated, “All Americans can feel the power of this day, and learn from our history, and celebrate progress and grapple with the distance we’ve come but the distance we have to travel.”
The latter half of his statement is critical. It highlights the dire need to proactively dismantle systems that continue to harm and place the African American community at a disadvantage.
While there has been some progress, there’s major work to be done across all sectors of the United States. It’s most important that all citizens not only show up on this day, but every day of the year. Our blog post last year highlighted several charities and organizations you can support, learning resources, and related blogs from TOF. This year, we’d like to challenge both our supporters AND ourselves to invest additional effort into identifying new ways to address the plights the African American community faces and dismantling systems in place.
It is our responsibility as individuals to simply be great human beings. Racism and inequity still exist in various forms such as nepotism, inequitable hiring practices, biases, unjust murders, and beyond. Everyone should feel both safe and respected to create a world where we all belong and matter.
A friendly reminder: The smallest shifts in our practices, policies and perspectives can change the status quo and lead to more equitable outcomes!
As we close, we ask that you intentionally think about what concrete steps you will take toward combating racial injustice. At The Ocean Foundation, we’re committed to doing the same. We’re actively working to dismantle any systems in place that have created challenges for the African American community.