This year, we are celebrating Juneteenth by taking steps to dismantle white supremacy in our community. No matter what we look like or where we live, most of us want our families and our communities to be safe and thriving. But a handful of politicians like Glenn Youngkin throw out lies to divide us and keep our communities from getting the resources they need. They know that if we fear and mistrust each other, we’ll look the other way while they take all of the resources for themselves and we’re left fighting each other for the scraps. We are coming together—from cities to suburbs, from counties to towns—to dismantle white supremacy in all of its forms and ensure that all of us, Black, Brown, and white alike, can thrive and live together in safe, happy communities.
Juneteenth, also known as Jubilee Day, Freedom Day, Liberation Day, and Emancipation Day, is a celebration of the emancipation announcement in Texas on June 19, 1865. It marks the day the last of the enslaved people in Texas found out they were previously freed (and not informed by their their captors) and is the oldest nationally celebrated commemoration of the ending of slavery in the United States. Today, Juneteenth is a celebration Black history and culture, often marked by parades, parties, festivals, and protests against racism across the country.
However, a single day dedicated to acknowleging and celebrating the end of slavery in the U.S. is not nearly enough. We cannot rest until everyone in Virginia and the United States as a whole is treated fairly under the law and has an equal voice in our democracy.
We need to do more than celebrate our diverse communities; we need to ensure that no one is left behind, that all of us, regardless of race, income, or who we love, is safe from police violence; has affordable, comprehensive healthcare, clean drinking water and a safe environment to live in, and fully-funded schools for our children.
Starting today, let’s work together to ban qualified immunity, keep abortion accessible for all of us, and hold polluting utility monopolies accountable. Black and Brown communities have been left behind, and enough is enough.