June 19th, known as “Juneteenth” or “Freedom Day,” is a pivotal date in African American history, marking the end of slavery in the U.S. The day commemorates June 19, 1865, when Union soldiers declared that the Civil War had ended, and all enslaved people were free. The holiday was made a federal holiday in 2021, thanks to the efforts of activists like Ms. Opal Lee, known as the “Grandmother of Juneteenth.”

Juneteenth has grown into a celebration of African American freedom and achievements, emphasizing the importance of ongoing personal and community development. It is a time for reflection, cultural pride, and community gatherings and celebrations including wellness fairs that provide education and screening for health conditions, such as diabetes and heart disease that disproportionately affect Black Americans.

For a more detailed exploration of Juneteenth’s history and significance, read What Is June 19th Or “Juneteenth” And Why Is It So Important? Written by SOPHE Director of Grants Administration Doreleena Sammons Hackett.