Today, June 19, is the important commemoration of the emancipation of people who remained enslaved for nearly two and a half years after the Emancipation Proclamation was issued and nearly six months after the 13th Amendment passed both houses of Congress.
On June 19, 1865, a Union Army regiment arrived in Galveston, Texas, where Major General Gordon Granger read General Order Number 3, announcing the freedom of all enslaved persons. Up until that time, nearly 250,000 individuals remained enslaved in Texas.
June 19 – Juneteenth – is an independence day in the United States, celebrating the legacy of freedom of formerly enslaved people and the equality of all people.
155 years later, we are still working to end racism. As I said in my message on June 4, while Glencoe has a strong tenet of inclusion, there is still work to be done – there are new ways to live the values of our Welcoming and Inclusive Community Pledge, new conversations to be had, new neighbors to meet. If you have not signed the pledge, I encourage you to sign it today and find ways to live it each day.
Since I wrote to the community in June, members of the Village’s leadership have had meaningful conversations with representatives from our faith community and the Community Relations Forum is meeting next Thursday, June 25. The Community Relations Forum is a volunteer commission whose mission is founded in promoting the equality of all people and community building by promoting and encouraging mutual respect and understanding between all individuals. Over the coming months, the Community Relations Forum will embark on new conversations and activities to listen to the community and grow in inclusivity. If you would like to connect with the Community Relations Forum, you can do so by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org and if you would like to attend the Community Relations Forum’s meeting next Thursday, it will be available by video conference.
I hope that you will take time to reflect upon the significance of today and how we can each play a part in helping Glencoe continue to grow together as a community of neighbors and in kindness.