Image
Group of people posing for a picture

Blog

Celebrating Juneteenth: a day of reflection, restoration, and strength
June 18, 2021
Topics: 

Happy Juneteenth. Today, we celebrate Black Americans’ freedom and achievements. We reflect on a period in our history that has shaped and continues to influence our society today. While the fight for racial justice and equity continues, we commemorate Juneteenth to honor Black Americans who fought and continue to fight for our freedom and basic rights.

Photo of Sabrina Stratton

First Vice President
Commercial Banking
New York

212-895-4456

Juneteenth, formerly known as Emancipation Day, is the oldest known celebration honoring the end of slavery in the United States.1 The celebration started on June 19, 1865, two months after the official end of the Civil War in the United States, when federal troops arrived in Texas to ensure that all slaves were freed. Though news of freedom brought immediate reactions of shock and happiness, there was also a realization that there would be a lot more needed to achieve true freedom. Throughout the years after the initial celebration, Juneteenth was used as a time for praying and reassurance of justice and peace.

Juneteenth continues to be a time of reflection and reassurance. With little over a year passed since the murder of George Floyd and the ensuing rage and protests across the country demanding justice, there is so much more work that needs to be done to ensure that all Black Americans receive just, fair, and equitable treatment. The reality that there is a long road ahead can be daunting and discouraging.  Reflecting on the history and meaning of Juneteenth provides all of us with the opportunity to encourage, support, and uplift all those that are fighting for true racial justice and equity.

I encourage all to take time to reflect on the meaning of Juneteenth. This day is meant to inspire strength, wellness, and perseverance in the Black community. It is a time for us all to think about how we show up and fight for systemic change and reform. These moments of joy, celebration, and showing love for those who stand with us are so important; these days of reflection are what keeps us strong.

As America’s socially responsible bank, Amalgamated will continue to strengthen and evolve its efforts in the fight for equity and racial justice. We know that there is still work to be done, especially in the financial sector. We are committed to continuing to move the sector forward with our vision of a more just, sustainable world for all.

Things we care about

Image
Pride flag
Pride

It feels like ages since we have been able to come together. LGBTQ+ Pride, internationally recognized each June, coincides this year with a mass gathering of every other community, as many of us remove our masks and embrace friends and family for the first time in months.

Image
Amalgamated Bank logo on glass
racial justice

Happy Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month! AAPI are people having origins from East Asia, Southeast Asia, South Asia and peoples of Oceania. The month of May is dedicated to celebrating all the contributions and impact the AAPI community has had on American culture since the arrival of the first Japanese immigrants in the U.S. in 1843, as well as the Chinese migrant workers that partook in the construction of the transcontinental railway. 

Image
Man wearing mask
workers' rights

The light at the end of the pandemic tunnel has gotten a little brighter recently, especially as the number of U.S. COVID-related hospitalizations continues to dwindle and the number of fully vaccinated people in the country reaches nearly 40% of the population.1