LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) —- Governor Gretchen Whitmer has signed a proclamation that declared June 19th as Juneteenth Celebration Day in Michigan. Juneteenth remembers the day in 1865 when slavery was abolished in the United States.
June 19 was established as a federal holiday yesterday by President Biden, after signing the Juneteenth National Independence Day Act.
Governor Whitmer released a statement on both Juneteenth and Michigan’s path towards racial justice in Michigan,
Juneteenth is an essential day of remembrance and a recognition of how far we still have to go to achieve our ideals of equity and racial justice in Michigan,” said Whitmer. “Over the past year, we have had long-overdue conversations about race and equity amidst an unprecedented global pandemic and shocking yet routine instances of violence and discrimination towards communities of color, especially Black Americans. Our racial reckoning reminds us that it our responsibility, whether we are citizens or public servants, to change our laws and root out systemic racism in every aspect of our society from healthcare, housing, education, policing, and more. I’m proud to declare June 19 as Juneteenth Celebration Day once again, and want to recommit us all to building a more equitable and just Michigan. ”
Lt. Governor Garlin Gilchrist II spoke on his experience as a Black man in the U.S.,
Juneteenth is an important day to commemorate the progress we’ve made in the fight for racial equity, while also recommitting ourselves to the ongoing work that still needs to be done,” said Gilchrist . “As a Black man in America, I know the pain of racism and injustice personally. Far too many Black Americans and other people of color continue to suffer as the result of racism and discrimination that communities of color face every day. Black Michiganders deserve a state that celebrates, listens to, informs, and empowers them. I will work every day to advocate for policies that protect and expand access to justice and opportunity.”
To read the full proclamation, click here.