As part of the City of Blue Springs broader diversity, equity and inclusion efforts, Mayor Carson Ross has approved Juneteenth as an official paid holiday for City employees. Because Juneteenth falls on the weekend, City facilities will be closed to the public, Monday, June 20.
Juneteenth is celebrated in communities across the country in the same spirit as the Fourth of July but has often been overlooked outside the Black community. After the end of the Civil War in April 1865 and two years after President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation, a number of people remained enslaved in the U.S. It was on June 19, 1865 when Union general Gordon Granger arrived in Galveston, Texas and read the statement, “In accordance with a proclamation from the Executive of the United States, all slaves are free,” which finally meant freedom for those still enslaved in Texas. Thus, Juneteenth marks the effective and official end of slavery in the U.S.
"I want to challenge our employees and community to take this day to deepen awareness by participating in local Juneteenth Celebrations, reading a book about Black experiences, eating at a Black-owned restaurant," said Mayor Carson Ross.
Juneteenth is not only a celebration of freedom, but also one of opportunity, equity and access. The City of Blue Springs is committed to demonstrating awareness and support for employees’ varied experiences. Observation of Juneteenth is a visible way to demonstrate the commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion.