LANSING, Mich. — Gov. Gretchen Whitmer issued a proclamation Friday declaring June 19 as Juneteenth Celebration Day in Michigan.
It comes less than a day after President Joe Biden signed a bill marking the day as a federal holiday.
“Juneteenth is an essential day of remembrance and a recognition of how far we still have to go to achieve our ideals of equity and racial justice in Michigan,” Whitmer said. “Over the past year, we have had long-overdue conversations about race and equity amidst and unprecedented global pandemic and shocking yet routine instances of violence and discrimination towards communities of color, especially Black Americans. Our racial reckoning reminds us that it is our responsibility, whether we are citizens or public servants, to change our laws and root out systemic racism in every aspect of our society from health care, housing, education, policing and more. I’m proud to declare June 19 as Juneteenth Celebration Day once again and want to recommit us all to building a more equitable and just Michigan.”
Lt. Gov. Gilchrist says that while the holiday is for commemorating progress already made, it is also a recommitment to the work that still needs to be done.
“Far too many Black Americans and other people of color continue to suffer as a result of racism and discrimination that communities of color face every day,” Gilchrist said. “Black Michiganders deserve a state that celebrates, listens to, informs and empowers them.”