JuneteenthThe cessation of slavery in the United States is observed on June 19th, or Juneteenth.  The observance of Juneteenth had its beginnings in 1865 Galveston, Texas with the arrival of Union soldiers armed with the good news of freedom.  Although slavery was ended on January 1, 1863 by the Emancipation Proclamation, it was not until 1865 that enforcement of the Proclamation was attained.  In 1997, the United States Congress recognized Juneteenth as Juneteenth Independence Day, and in 2010 the World Day of Reconciliation and Healing from the Legacy of Enslavement was established.  Currently, forty-one states celebrate the 19th of June as a state holiday or day of observance, including Missouri. 

Juneteenth offers the opportunity to come together to celebrate the freedoms enjoyed by all people of this country and to preserve the liberties and rights due each and every individual.  In Missouri, civil rights are afforded protection through the Missouri Human Rights Act (MHRA), which precludes adverse treatment based on a protected category such as race or color in employment, places of public accommodation, or housing. The Missouri Commission on Human Rights is the state agency responsible for the enforcement of the MHRA, primarily through the intake and investigation of complaints filed by aggrieved parties and through education and outreach designed to prevent discrimination and foster mutual understanding. If you believe you have been discriminated against due to race or any other category protected under MHRA, contact MCHR toll-free at 877-781-4236 or take the quick assessment to determine if the MHRA applies to your situation.

Celebrate Juneteenth at these Missouri events: