Dane County Board recognizes Juneteenth, encourages employees to make it a “day on”

(Credit: MGN)
Published: Jun. 17, 2022 at 11:43 AM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - The Dane County Board of Supervisors met Thursday and recognized Juneteenth - the day that enslaved African Americans in Texas learned of their emancipation, almost two and half years after the Emancipation Proclamation.

Juneteenth is celebrated annually on June 19.

County Board Supervisor Dana Pellebon (District 33) said, “the importance and relevance of Juneteenth in todays world goes beyond the remembrance of the jubilant day when those who were enslaved were told about the Emancipation Proclamation. This day also serves as a reminder that those who are incarcerated do not share in the these freedoms. The structural racism and racial disparities in Madison, especially for those incarcerated, will not end with a declaration of a holiday. I call on the residents in Madison to work collaboratively to address these disparities but also those of us in government to use the privileges that we have been afforded by our constituents to find real solutions together.”

Juneteenth became a holiday for Dane County employees in 2020, but it is encouraged in their resolution for the workers to make it a “day on” instead of a normal day off. Employees are encouraged to consider volunteering, attending a celebration, shopping in person or online at a Black owned business, and to advance their knowledge of systemic racism.

The resolution also goes on to say to not let Juneteenth be a “one-off” day, but to instead continually look for ways to celebrate and acknowledge African-American culture, history, diversity, and contributions to the community.

“I’m pleased that the County is recognizing this important day, it is a testament to the important contributions of African Americans and serves as a reminder that there is so much more to do to make an equitable community. Let this be a day of celebration and a charge to continue to do this critical work,” said County Board Supervisor Anthony Gray (District 14).

More information about Juneteenth can be found here.

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