As we work to promote equity, diversity, and inclusion at Second Harvest Food Bank of Northwest NC, we recognize and celebrate the diverse backgrounds and identities of the Food Bank team and the communities we serve.
Juneteenth is a cultural celebration denoting a pivotal moment in history and recognizing the challenges in Black Americans’ fight for liberation - a day to reflect on and celebrate resilience.
Commemorating the emancipation of enslaved people in the United States, it is observed on the 19th of June, hence, the name Juneteenth. It celebrates the abolishment of slavery in 1865 in Texas and the Confederate South, nearly two-and-half years after Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863. These events eventually resulted in the ratification of the 13th Amendment, which states:
“Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.”
Sometimes referred to as the Day of Jubilee or Liberation Day, Juneteenth celebrates Black liberation, honors the work of ancestors and predecessors who fought for racial equity and social justice, and recognizes the work that still must be done to end systemic oppression.
Though the legal practice of slavery ended in 1863 through the Emancipation Proclamation, many states did not stop enslaving people until years later, and the legacy of slavery is still felt in the United States today. Black people are more likely to experience housing insecurity, income instability, and lack of access to safe and nutritious food.
African American households are twice as likely to be food insecure than white families. (USDA Household Food Security in the United States).
Equity, diversity, and inclusion are critical to the work of our Food Bank and the Feeding America network of food banks of which we are a part. Ultimately, we believe we can only achieve our vision, mission, and goals with a demonstrated commitment, through words and actions, to equity diversity, and inclusion.
We seek to deepen our understanding of and perspective on the challenges facing those we serve, many of which are rooted in long-standing patterns of social inequities, exclusions, and divisions. As the US works to recognize the harmful effects of slavery this Juneteenth, we invite you to explore these resources to learn more: