This is a momentous time in our history, and with on-going protests triggered by the devastating loss of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, George Floyd and most recently, Mr. Rayshard Brooks here in Atlanta, ABI has decided to lead with our heart by commemorating the end of slavery and celebrating the enormous sacrifices and achievements of African Americans, particularly during these challenging times.
Juneteenth, a portmanteau of “June” and “19th “, is the oldest, nationally-celebrated commemoration of the ending of slavery in the United States. Dating back to 1865, it was on June 19th that Union soldiers, led by Major General Gordon Granger, landed at Galveston, Texas with news that the war had ended and that those enslaved were now free.
In 2020, we have felt the health disparities resulting from the COVID Pandemic and witnessed a vivid display of the human and economic toll resulting from decades of racial injustice. On this day, we want to acknowledge the role we all have in eliminating these traumas with people – and in the places we all work, live and play. Our hope is that we all use this day to reflect, acknowledge, heal and identify ways we can work together collectively to build bridges, stronger communities and invest in our most precious resource, human potential.