PAGNY commemorates Juneteenth, also known as Emancipation Day.
For those of you who may be unfamiliar, Juneteenth occurs every year on June 19th in commemoration of the end of slavery. Though Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation in 1862, it was not until June 19th, 1865 that Union troops carrying news of emancipation and the end of the Civil War reached Texas, then the most remote slave state. Since that time, celebrations of Juneteenth have spread across the country and gained in recognition as a second Independence Day for African Americans. On Thursday, President Biden signed legislation to make Juneteenth an official federal holiday.
Juneteenth should prompt us to reflect on the ways we must continue to work towards an end to racial discrimination and disparities of opportunity. Given the communities we serve, our PAGNY clinicians see more clearly than many the lasting impact of generations of legalized racism on the health and wellbeing of their patients. Through the higher incidences of COVID-19 in Black communities and police violence against Black individuals, this year has exposed even further how systemic those realities continue to be.
PAGNY encourages you to celebrate Juneteenth in whatever way is meaningful for you and to think about how you can advance the cause of justice and equality in your work, private life, and practice.