Juneteenth (short for “June Nineteenth”) marks the day when federal troops arrived in Galveston, Texas, in 1865 to take control of the state and ensure that all enslaved people were freed. The troops’ arrival came a full two and a half years after the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation. Juneteenth honors the end to slavery in the United States and is considered the longest-running African American holiday.

On June 17, 2021, Juneteenth officially became a federal holiday. It is a day of celebration and giving back. We work to pay it forward to our community and, more importantly, to those in our community that might still be marginalized and never forget that we still have work to do. Treating one with kindness and respect is work that is never done and is a practice that needs to be done year around.