Juneteenth commemorates the 156th anniversary, when Union soldiers brought the news of freedom to enslaved Black people in Galveston, Texas, two years after the Emancipation Proclamation and two months after the Confederacy had surrendered. A General Order Number 3 was read, informing the residents that slavery would no longer be tolerated. Therefore, all slaves were now free and would henceforth be treated as hired workers if they chose to remain on the plantations.
Lasting changes came with several setbacks and roadblocks. The battle towards racial equality continued throughout these years. Juneteenth became a celebration of Black American life and resilience and admires the contributions of Black Americans to this country.
On June 16, 2021, Congress passed a bill establishing Juneteenth as a U.S. holiday, making it the nation’s 12th federal holiday. This Juneteenth, ILS commemorates Black history and culture and encourages our community to stand against structural racism and racial disparities and educate ourselves on more fully understanding our complex national history. We encourage you to take initiatives to enhance diversity and inclusion and promote education on these critical issues.