As part IFR’s commitment to dismantling anti-blackness and supporting the empowerment of the Black community, we are proud to recognize Juneteenth 2022.
We don’t take note of this day frivolously. It comes with the clear-headed understanding that June 19, 1865, symbolizes an end to slavery in those areas where news of the Emancipation Proclamation had not yet reached. Consequently, Juneteenth is a day to celebrate freedom and liberation for this country’s enslaved Black community.
It is also a day to contemplate this history, to consider how racist actions, laws and policies thwart true freedom for the Black community. It is a reminder that Jim Crow laws, anti-miscegenation, segregation, and redlining laws all occurred in post-slavery times.
Today, we have a better understanding of the subtleties of structural racism. We never forget the many Black men and women who have unjustly taken from this world. We are acutely aware that our work as allies to the Black community is far from over. And it will continue.
Today, we will also take time to celebrate the victories - to honor the courage of the slave, the ingenuity of the Underground Railroad by Harriet Tubman and others, the fighting spirit of black power movement leaders and civil rights activists that includes Malcolm X, James Baldwin, Ella Baker, the Freedom Riders, Stokely Carmichael, Dr. Martin Luther King., Jr., John Lewis, and many, many others.
We also recognize the many Black leaders continuing the fight for freedom today: from Black Lives Matter, the Reverend William Barber, Representative Cori Bush, Alicia Garza, and LaTosha Brown to the young Amanda Gorman. IFR honors the many Black leaders past and present, known and unknown, who have contributed to ending slavery and dismantling racism everywhere.
We are happy to celebrate freedoms won and progress made on this Juneteenth 2022 and recommit to those that struggles lie ahead.