Juneteenth commemorates the true ending of slavery in the United States. On June 19, 1865, Union soldiers under the leadership of Major General Gordon Granger arrived in Galveston, Texas and notified those still under the yoke of slavery that they were free. This was two years after the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation.

Now more than 150 years later, we celebrate this important event every June 19th. In a time when we are reminded every day that we have much to do to overcome inequality, oppression and hate, this holiday can serve as a moment to reflect and dream of a better future for all people.

At Therapeutic Health Services, we have long recognized Juneteenth as an important staff holiday and encouraged its celebration and commemoration. In the past, we’ve hosted fun events for youth and families, bringing together community partners to share and create. This year we aren’t able to host this event, but we ask that everyone takes a moment to think about Juneteenth, its significance, and how each of us can work to bring about greater understanding, freedom and equality to all.

Learn more about Juneteenth, its history, and how to celebrate it by visiting here: www.juneteenth.com

Juneteenth commemorates African American freedom and emphasizes education and achievement. It is a day, a week, and in some areas a month marked with celebrations, guest speakers, picnics and family gatherings. It is a time for reflection and rejoicing. It is a time for assessment, self-improvement and for planning the future. Its growing popularity signifies a level of maturity and dignity in America long over-due. In cities across the country, people of all races, nationalities and religions are joining hands to truthfully acknowledge a period in our history that shaped and continues to influence our society today. Sensitized to the conditions and experiences of others, only then can we make significant and lasting improvements in our society.