2014-2021 Press Releases
United Methodist Women Celebrates New Juneteenth Federal Holiday
For Immediate Release
United Methodist Women acknowledges with gratitude the signing into law of the Juneteenth National Independence Day Act, adopted with overwhelming bipartisan support in both houses of Congress. The new federal holiday commemorates June 19, 1865, the day when enslaved African Americans in Galveston, Texas, learned they were freed by the Emancipation Proclamation, two years after President Abraham Lincoln signed it into law. Juneteenth, also known as Black Independence Day and Day of Jubilee, is American history not taught in most U.S. public schools. This event, the Tulsa Race Massacre, and many other currently omitted parts of our history must be included in the curriculum so that we as Americans know our full story, the struggles of our forebearers that brought us to where we are today, and the work we must do today to live into our national pledge of liberty and justice for all.
The bipartisan support for the Juneteenth federal holiday is an encouraging sign that our leaders are open to acknowledging our nation’s true history — in its full racial diversity, injustices and all — which is a requisite part our ongoing journey to create a more perfect union together. As women of faith, we know the importance of telling the whole story as a foundation for making needed changes in our own community and in the broader society. We pray that the Juneteenth federal holiday will undergird our nation’s commitment to the ongoing work for racial justice. Our faith in Jesus’ promise that “the truth will set you free” helps us persist in this work — even when the whole story is difficult to face. May this be a step toward policies that ensure racial justice.
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