Progress on matters related to diversity, equity and inclusion tends to take time, sometimes even years. However, I must say I’m inspired by the way our country has taken up Juneteenth as an opportunity for education, recognition and celebration of community and togetherness. As I shared with you last year, I’m a Texan by birth, which means I spent many warm summer days in June surrounded by family and friends, honoring the journey of those who came before me.
Freedom Day, as some like to call, Juneteenth, marks the day in 1865 when federal troops took over the state of Texas, announcing the emancipation of enslaved Black Texans. It also came two years after the Emancipation Proclamation. Their path to freedom from enslavement is what leads me and my legacy here today.
The decision for Congress to designate Juneteenth as a federal holiday allows for additional education on this meaningful occasion. And it’s this type of cross-cultural learning that helps draw us closer to one another in this period of ongoing challenge.
In keeping with one of the messages in my video last year, let us recognize Juneteenth as a day of remembrance and a call to not give up the fight for equality.