AFSCME Council 13 celebrates Juneteenth holiday

AFSCME Council 13 is proud to represent thousands of public service workers of color, and our union family is excited to celebrate Juneteenth at a time when people in America and around the world have joined together to demand an end to systematic racism and oppression of Black people.

On June 19, 2019, Governor Tom Wolf signed legislation making Juneteenth an official annual observance in Pennsylvania. This year, Governor Wolf has designated this Friday, June 19, 2020, as a special holiday for employees in agencies under the Governor’s jurisdiction.

Juneteenth marks June 19, 1865, when union solders reached Galveston, Texas, the furthest point in the south with news of the end of the Civil War. Slaves were previously unaware they had been freed more than two years earlier when President Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation, or that Confederate General Robert E. Lee had surrendered in Virginia two months earlier.

“While Juneteenth is a time to celebrate the progress we have made as a society, we must also acknowledge that we have a long way to go, and recent events have offered hope in our ability to make progress,” AFSCME Council 13 Executive Director David Fillman said.

“I hope everyone enjoys this holiday while keeping in mind the reason behind it. We all need to do our part to fight racial injustice and to ensure that Black lives matter.”

To our AFSCME family, and to all our siblings of all backgrounds in the greater human experience, please enjoy a safe and meaningful Juneteenth.