A day of celebration and opportunity for reflection
Juneteenth is the oldest nationally celebrated commemoration of the ending of slavery in the United States. It is celebrated on June 19th and may soon be recognized as a federal holiday. In many places it is already being declared a state holiday and local municipalities, including Troy, have proclaimed the importance of Juneteenth.
Unity House will honor Juneteenth by closing business offices on Friday, June 19th. As an essential service, Unity House cannot simply close since some some jobs just can’t stop. Our childcare, housing, and emergency services, for example will remain open. Unity House staff who are in non-essential roles will receive the holiday. For those whose labor is needed, they will take off a different day of their choosing.
Planning a day off for much of a non-profit agency is not an easy task since there are many considerations, but honoring this important day is consistent with Unity House’s values. Commemorating Juneteenth recognizes not just the historical celebration of an end to slavery, but also the structural racism in our society today. There is much work that still needs to be done.
Unity House celebrates this important holiday and encourages everyone to learn more about Juneteenth. Here are some resources:
NYS Writer’s Institute with links to Live Streamed events for June 19th
Governor Cuomo’s Executive Order proclaiming Juneteenth as a holiday for NYS employees and will advance legislation to make Juneteenth an official holiday next year.