Juneteenth Freedom Day

A Celebration of Freedom

This year marks the 155th anniversary of Juneteenth. It arrives during another moment of national outcry and the need for action to bring an end to the racial injustice that the Black community continues to endure. To commemorate Juneteenth this year, we invited the Black Alliance Cooperative (BAC) of employees at BECU to share the historical significance of the holiday.

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Community Content Team
Published Jun 19, 2020 in: Advancing Equity

Read time: 3 minutes

The BAC provided this statement and messages.

Juneteenth is known as the "Celebration of Freedom," and it celebrates the true ending of enslavement in 1865. Although the Emancipation Proclamation was written in 1863, there were still enslaved black people being held in Texas until Major General Gordon Granger went to Galveston, Texas to issue the order that they were free. It is now 155 years later, and this is a time in Black History we should celebrate!

With social unrest and inequality still occurring in our nation, the celebration of Juneteenth is so important. We should always remember what our ancestors endured and celebrate their resilience from enslaved to free people. We should feel empowered to continue with the fight of attaining our true freedom. In the words of Coretta Scott King, "Struggle is a never-ending process. Freedom is never really won, you earn it and win it in every generation."

For us Juneteenth represents:

"Through heartaches and pain we will rise like the sun in memory of our ancestors who fought for our freedom."

- Rhonda Allen-Barron

"A time of new starts regardless of how scary the path."

- Tisha Held

"Freedom, a deep sign of reflection, and hope for us."

- Jane Mwangi

"We can demand freedom for all, even those under the most oppressive systems of racism and inequality."

- Natasha Rivers

"It's a day to reflect on the past but also to focus on how I can contribute to the advancement of my race."

- Paris Hooks

"An answer to my ancestors' prayers for freedom in this country, and in 2020, is my cry for equality in this country."

- Jewell Walker Sr.

"It is the promise that no matter how grim things may look now, progress cannot be stopped. It is the torch that was passed down from generations before June 19, 1865 to our generation here in 2020. We have a responsibility not to let that flame of promise burn out."

- Troy Brandon Jr.

"A liberation story that can't be told but it has to be shown for understanding. Defeat is not who we are....setbacks may be in our story, but the bounce back defines the greatness in the black person's story."

- Josias Jean-Pierre

We appreciate the offer of allyship from our fellow employees and friends. We encourage those who wish join in the fight for equality to continue to speak out. It is our consent, participation and cooperation that will allow change to happen for the good of all.

- The Members of the BAC

BECU is committed to taking an active stance to making long-term, meaningful change and more purposeful actions to achieve greater diversity, equity, and inclusion both in our organization and throughout our communities.

In recognition of the holiday this year, BECU employees have the opportunity to take the day off using paid time off (PTO) to participate in events and celebrations. The credit union will not officially close our retail locations in order to continue serving the immediate financial needs of members during the on-going pandemic.

Find information on Juneteenth virtual celebrations.

Read more about the history and legacy of Juneteenth.

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Community Content Team

BECU's community content team writes about personal finance topics like budgeting, saving and building credit to help you reach your financial health goals.