If you’re like me, you probably didn’t learn about Juneteenth in school, and perhaps only came to understand its historical significance as an adult. Short for June 19th, this commemoration’s origins are now broadly known, and most states recognize June 19th as a holiday. Furthermore, just this past week, the House and the Senate both passed a bill that would recognize Juneteenth National Independence Day as the 12th federal holiday, and yesterday President Biden signed the bill into law.
Today, as we embrace our diverse heritage, Juneteenth is an occasion to celebrate American freedom. Whether partaking in local Juneteenth events or simply taking the time to learn more about its history and impact on our culture, consider taking a moment to reflect on Juneteenth this Saturday.
It’s always helpful to consider insight from those closest to the heart of an issue, so I reached out to Joi Blume from Intact Specialty Property, whose advocacy and work on behalf of the black community is second-to-none. Said Joi:
“Juneteenth is a time of commemoration, a day to reflect upon where we’ve been and where we’re going, to celebrate the culmination of hardships that have led to our vast achievements. Many of us are descendants of slaves and sharecroppers – a poverty-stricken society that for many years struggled to gain a foothold in a foreign country we were brought to over 400 years ago. Today, as a community, we are thriving, educated, prospering; we have made a valiant effort to stand for what matters and to make our voices heard. We are our ancestors’ wildest dreams!”
Thank you, Joi, and happy Juneteenth to all!
– Carmen Duarte, VP Marketing & Communications/D&I Champion at Intact Insurance Specialty Solutions
- Travel-guide company Lonely Planet offers a national sampling of Juneteenth celebrations.
- The National Museum of African American History & Culture is offering virtual programs on the history of African American culture and Juneteenth.