June 19, 1865, was a pivotal turning point in American History and became known as Juneteenth. It marks the day when federal troops arrived in Galveston, TX to take control of the state and ensure that all enslaved people be freed. The troops’ arrival came a full two and a half years after the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation. Juneteenth commemorates the end of slavery and is considered the longest-running African American holiday.

On Juneteenth, we celebrate liberty and freedom as we reflect on the nation’s often overlooked past, the progress we have made, and the work that still needs to be done.  In observance of this holiday, let us reaffirm our commitment to pursue a more equitable and just society, where everyone feels a true sense of belonging.​

By William J. Fritz