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Celebrating Juneteenth’s message of freedom and hope

On January 1, 1863, President Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation into effect, which freed enslaved people of African descent, declaring “…all persons held as slaves within any State or designated part of a State… shall be then, thenceforward, and forever free…”

It was not until two-and-a-half years later, on June 19th, 1865, that Major General Gordon Granger of the Union Army arrived in Galveston, Texas, to deliver word to enslaved Black people that the Civil War had ended, and slavery was abolished. This day came to be known as “Juneteenth,” by the newly freed people in Texas.

ICIC is committed to advancing social and racial justice and to fostering and nurturing a culture of diversity, equity, and inclusion in all that we do, internally and externally.

To honor and celebrate the significance of Juneteenth and to embrace its message of freedom and hope, the ICIC team is collectively participating in a day of listening, learning, reflecting, and engaging in essential discussions about race and allyship.

While progress has been made since the first Juneteenth celebration, we must not overlook that 155 years later Black Americans continue to fight for equity, inclusion, and justice. We must reject the status quo and work together to end the systemic inequality and racism facing the Black community.

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