Today is Juneteenth, an important and powerful day in American history.
It was on this day 155 years ago that a group of enslaved Black Americans in Galveston, Texas, learned that they were free from enslavement, more than two years after the Emancipation Proclamation.
It’s a day that serves for many as both a celebration of taking a step towards freedom, and a sharp reminder of how strong systemic racism and oppression are, and how far from actual freedom Black communities are.
On Thursday the Golden State Warriors released a statement mentioning that the organization is observing Juneteenth, and encouraging employees to take part in actions across their communities.
The Golden State Warriors announced today that the organization will observe Juneteenth by encouraging active front office staff participation in the ongoing fight for racial justice. Full news release: pic.twitter.com/eanUzHFojS— Warriors PR (@WarriorsPR) June 18, 2020
Here’s the statement in full:
The Golden State Warriors today announced that the organization will observe Juneteenth by encouraging active front office staff participation in the ongoing fight for racial justice.
“Celebrating Black history and culture, and our ongoing allyship in the fight to end systemic racism, is the most important work we will do as citizens of our communities,” said Warriors President and Chief Operating Officer Rick Welts. “I am honored to join all of our Warriors team members in being active in the community on Juneteenth to take another step toward equality.”
Warriors team members will participate in a variety of events in the ongoing Black Lives Matter movement that celebrate Black history and culture and advocate for reform around the Bay Area, including re-painting murals and participating in music festivals, bike rallies and organized marches. The Warriors also provided team members with various educational resources, including podcasts, books, articles and videos, produced by and about Black history, culture and lived experiences.
The observance of Juneteenth is part of a continued organizational effort in the fight for equality. A robust, strategic racial justice action plan will be announced by the Warriors at a later date.
I am curious about the mention of a “strategic racial justice action plan,” and look forward to seeing that announced. Because, while observing Juneteenth and encouraging anti-racism education is vital, it can’t be all we do.
The Warriors — like all of us — need to do more for their community, be it in the form of donations and activism, or in the form of hiring more Black people to their numerous business teams. They have an enormous platform, and it’s imperative that they use it for good.
If you’d like to learn more about the significance of Juneteenth, here’s a great article. And if you’d like to support Black-owned businesses in your community, visit Dine Black to find a curated list of Black-owned restaurants in your city.