“Juneteenth is the culmination of countless seen and unseen efforts by enslaved peoples and abolitionists. It is a clarion call that we still hear today, a call that we have been pressed to answer thanks to the millions of people who are advocating for racial justice at Black Lives Matter protests, and in less visible ways,” said Alphonso David, president of the Human Rights Campaign. “Every Juneteenth from this year moving forward, employees at the Human Rights Campaign will have the opportunity to reflect on our shared journey, and how we can further racial equity, individually, organizationally and globally. None of us is free unless all of us are free, a truth made clear by the very fact that it took more than two years for news of emancipation to reach enslaved people in Galveston, Texas on June 19, 1865. With this designation, we proudly and publicly recommit to continue working on behalf of all marginalized people for full equality.”The decision to make Juneteenth an organizational holiday is one more articulation of the vision and commitment that David made to make racial equity a cornerstone of HRC's work when he joined the organization in August 2019 which includes adopting racial equity and inclusion principles for the staff, volunteer leadership and boards; launching a transgender justice initiative; launching an initiative to address voter suppression efforts that further marginalize minority communities at the ballot box; and expanding the scope of the organization’s work with Historically Black Colleges and Universities. Juneteenth is the annual commemoration emancipation and the end of slavery that has been celebrated in the United States since June 19, 1865. It is often celebrated by organizing politically to strengthen civil rights for Black people in America. Earlier this month, the Human Rights Campaign organized a letter, joined by prominent LGBTQ and civil rights organizations, condemning racism, racial violence and police brutality while calling for action to combat these scourges. The letter is now signed by 800+ leaders of the nation’s most prominent LGBTQ and civil rights organizations.
The Human Rights Campaign announced the establishment of Juneteenth as an organizational holiday.