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#HistoryMatters: Health & Medicine to Celebrate Juneteenth

On June 19, 2018, for the first time in the organization’s history, Health & Medicine Policy Research Group will be celebrating Juneteenth, a day regarded as the oldest national celebration of African American liberation in the United States. While the official date of the Emancipation Proclamation was 1863, Juneteenth commemorates the announcement of the abolition of slavery in the remote territory of Texas over two years later on June 19, 1865.

While Juneteenth is recognized as a state holiday or special day of observance in forty-five states, it rarely gets the recognition of other national celebrations. Yet honoring this day is an important part of recognizing the role our history plays in shaping public health and health inequities.

The definition of health equity that we use at Health & Medicine requires that those working to advance equity value all individuals and populations equally and work to recognize and rectify historical injustices. Our decision to celebrate Juneteenth honors that work by holding a day regarded as African American Independence Day equal to other holidays.

At Health & Medicine, we believe that historical context matters to health equity and that celebrating Juneteenth is a step towards recognizing the full scope of American history and the unfinished work of advancing racial justice.

If you share our commitment to health equity and recognizing and rectifying historical injustices, won’t you join us in celebrating Juneteenth?

As part of our celebrations, we’re pleased to share the following resources:

-Check back soon as we add more resources