Juneteenth, celebrated every year on June 19, marks the day when black slaves were freed in Texas after the end of the Civil War. Its celebration has spread steadily throughout the United States; San Francisco has marked it since 1945. All but three states now observe it as a commemoration. It’s been called America’s second Independence Day and more recently has been termed a “day for celebration, education and agitation.”
The recognition of more than 150 years has now spread from governments to organizations. There is a push to make June 19 a national holiday.
The deep grief, reflection and authentic conversations sparked most recently by the murder of George Floyd have made the history and meaning of Juneteenth even more poignant for all Americans. At Lighthouse the trauma, grief and anger at the unremitting history of brutalization has touched us all. The painful and yet-to-be-finished conversations about race, injustice and our own organizational needs to address it are difficult and welcome. Leadership continues to encourage staff to take the time needed to turn toward specific actions which our organization can do, individually and collectively.
Therefore, most online LightHouse classes will be cancelled on June 19 in observance of Juneteenth. The events still going ahead on June 19 are:
Taking this day to reflect, learn, grieve and commemorate is one tangible way we can offer right now to respect the terrible events symbolized by George Floyd and represents Lighthouse’s recognition of the need to work for respect and freedom.