#HistoryMatters: Health & Medicine Celebrates Juneteenth – Health & Medicine Policy Research Group

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#HistoryMatters: Health & Medicine Celebrates Juneteenth

June 17, 2019

On June 19, 2019, 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. We first began observing this important holiday last year and are pleased to renew our commitment this year as part of our ongoing work to rectify historical injustices.

While Juneteenth is recognized as a state holiday or special day of observance in forty-five states, it still does not receive 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 equity.

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 rectifying historical injustices. Our decision to celebrate Juneteenth honors that work by holding a day regarded as African American Independence Day equal to other holidays. We also recently shifted our policies to observe Indigenous Peoples Day.

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:

Honoring Juneteenth: Links, Resources, and Local Celebrations 

Juneteenth is African American Independence Day and it’s past time that we celebrate it by Tiffany N. Ford