LANSING, Mich. — Governor Gretchen Whitmer and Lieutenant Governor Garlin Gilchrist II have proclaimed June 19 as Juneteenth Celebration Day in Michigan. 2022 will be the first year that Juneteenth is recognized as a state holiday in Michigan.
Juneteenth commemorates the day that slavery was abolished in the United States. On June 19, 1865, Union Army General Gordon Granger read General Order #3, starting that all slaves were free. The order also stated that former masters and slaves were absolutely equal in personal and property rights.
“Juneteenth marks a crucial day in our nation’s history to recognize the important progress we’ve made, while committing ourselves to the ongoing effort to center equality in all our work and make Michigan a place where every person can succeed,” said Lieutenant Governor Gilchrist II. “As the first Black lieutenant governor in our state, I’m building the policies and practices that will address and undo the damage racism and injustice has caused in our communities. That’s why we continue to invest in schools, job training, environmental justice, infrastructure and supporting businesses – all transformational investments and policies that celebrate, support and uplift communities of color. I am proud of the progress we’ve made thus far and will continue to work every day to make sure all Michiganders have the support and opportunities they need.”
“We are proud to celebrate Juneteenth as an official state holiday for the first time,” said Governor Whitmer. “Today presents an important opportunity to celebrate and elevate the stories of Black Americans as we continue to make record investments in communities of color. Since we took office, the lieutenant governor and I have prioritized building a state representative and responsive to the people we serve, addressing racial disparities and improving equity across Michigan. I am proud to declare June 19th as Juneteenth Celebration Day, and I am committed to working with anyone to build a more equitable and just state for all Michiganders.”