Juneteenth 2022—In Solidarity

It was not until June 19, 1865 that news of the Emancipation Proclamation—issued more than two years earlier—finally reached enslaved Americans in Galveston, Texas. Known as Juneteenth, June 19th commemorates the end of slavery in the United States and, since 1866, has been celebrated across the country as a day of freedom and liberation.

For some Americans, the history of Juneteenth—only recently declared an official state and federal holiday—may be unfamiliar. Its significance, however, should be recognized by all Americans, and serve as a powerful and compelling call to action. More than 150 years after Americans in Galveston first learned of their freedom, the United States must still redress the persistent legacy of slavery, legalized segregation, and systemic racism. Here in New Jersey, we must redress a stark and growing racial wealth gap; continued racial and economic segregation in our schools and communities; and the severely disproportionate policing and incarceration of Black and Brown people.

Since its founding 55 years ago, Legal Services in New Jersey has worked to combat all forms of discrimination and to secure economic, social, and legal justice for all. Juneteenth is a day both to celebrate progress and, on the heels of a pandemic which has exacerbated existing inequalities and increased the need for our services, to recommit to ensuring equity, equality, and justice in our communities and across the state.

We invite you to join us in solidarity, celebration, and a commitment to progress by sharing the following Juneteenth events and programming around the state: We also invite you to watch or re-watch “Reparations Now,” an installment of the Melville “De” Miller, Jr. Justice Series, named in honor of LSNJ’s co-founder and former President.