Juneteenth: Celebrating Freedom and Working Towards a Better Future

Juneteenth, or Freedom Day, commemorates the emancipation of enslaved African Americans on June 19, 1865. On that day, federal troops arrived in Galveston, Texas, and General Gordon Granger issued General Order No. 3, enforcing the Emancipation Proclamation (more than two years after it was issued) so that the remaining enslaved people were finally free as well.

On Wednesday Empower Missouri will be closed in observance of Juneteenth. Our staff will take the time to learn more about the history of the day, participate in community events, and reflect on the many ways that the fight for racial justice intersects with our work (such as the lasting impacts of racist housing policy, legislation around DEI initiatives, or proposals for reparations to the Black community, to name only a few of many examples). As an anti-poverty organization, we know that nearly every issue we advocate for has a disproportionate impact on our Black community members. We are committed to pursuing racial equity in all of our work, and while today is a celebration of the progress that has been made, it is also a perfect time to reflect on the ongoing struggle for racial justice, and how we can be active allies by listening, learning, and amplifying Black voices. To that end, we are using this Weekly Perspective to uplift the numerous partners and community organizations celebrating Juneteenth:

Where to Learn More About Juneteenth

The National Museum of African American History & Culture


Many communities have already begun celebrating by hosting events and gatherings throughout the month of June, but there are still ways to get involved tomorrow or later this month:

Juneteenth Events Throughout Missouri


San Louis


Kansas City



Whether you attend an event or do some reading on your own, we hope you’ll spend some time tomorrow reflecting on the meaning of the day, the progress that’s been made, and the work that still needs to be done.

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