Celebrating Juneteenth and the ongoing fight for racial equality

Firm News

Juneteenth is the oldest nationally celebrated commemoration of the ending of slavery in the United States. On June 19, 1865, Union soldiers, led by Major General Gordon Granger, landed at Galveston, Texas, with news that the war had ended and that the enslaved were now free. Notably, this was two and a half years after President Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation – which became official January 1, 1863.

While the Emancipation Proclamation legally ended slavery, systemic racism and state-endorsed violence against African-Americans continued throughout the United States for well over 100 years. Jim Crow made apartheid the law in much of the country.   Redlining was a policy endorsed by the United States government and used in almost every state to segregate communities based on race. Moreover, policing policies and a criminal justice system were developed that disproportionally harass, imprison and unjustly take the lives of African-Americans.

Free did not mean equal in 1865. Free does not mean equal in 2020. The ongoing battle for justice and racial equality is a staggering, somber and sad reality that people around the world continue to fight today. 

We have a long way to go until all people are truly equal. It will take each and every one of us to move our country down the path of racial equality. Bricker & Eckler’s celebration of Juneteenth is a reflection of our commitment to achieving this shared vision within and outside of our organization. We remain steadfast in pushing forward our diversity and inclusion efforts and look forward to collaborating with like-minded individuals and organizations that are devoted to this cause.    

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