Juneteenth: A message from Sharon Scott-Chandler

Dear ABCD community,

On Wednesday, June 19th, ABCD will be closed to celebrate Juneteenth, a holiday that marks a dream delayed, if not deferred, and inspiring a dream yet to be fully realized.

Juneteenth, also known as Freedom Day, commemorates June 19, 1865 when 20,000 Union soldiers landed in Galveston, Texas to announce the end of the Civil War and to liberate 250,000 enslaved people in Texas. It marked the end of that shameful practice in the United States, once and for all.

The holiday honors the resilience of Black Americans as freedom came two years after President Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation ended enslavement on January 1, 1863 and two months after Confederate General Robert E. Lee surrendered on April 9, 1865.

Red is the color of resilience. As the Smithsonian Museum of African American History and Culture states, the roots of that association can be traced to West Africa, where red is also associated with “strength, spirituality, life and death.” It symbolizes “the blood shed in the struggle…the collective strength … and the spirituality and transcendent joy that enabled us to overcome.”

At ABCD, we honor the past while focusing on the present: our mission is inextricably linked to the struggle for racial equity; it is built on foundational knowledge that racism is systemic and poverty is one of its most pernicious goals and outcomes.

Such institutional racism must be actively dismantled. That’s why our racial equity efforts are fueled by uncommon determination. We insist on nothing less than total equity and equal access to resources as the pathway to a truly realized opportunity for all.

In observing Juneteenth as an official holiday, we also celebrate the progress the country has made, the joy that African Americans and other descendants of the African diaspora continue to create, and the community we nurture.

Juneteenth is a good day to remember that our accomplishments are many, our work is certainly not yet done – but our potential is limitless.

In remembrance and celebration,

Sharon Scott-Chandler, Esq.
President and CEO