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Celebrating Community This Juneteenth

“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.” Martin Luther King

Juneteenth commemorates June 19th, 1865, when the news of President Abraham Lincoln’s 1863 Emancipation Proclamation reached enslaved people of Galveston, Texas. Since that time Juneteenth (June 19th) has been annually celebrated as Freedom Day or Emancipation Day across the U.S.

This week, the United States Senate unanimously and House of Representative with a super majority passed a bill to make Juneteenth a federal holiday commemorating the end of slavery in the United States, this legislation has been signed by President Biden!

I look forward to working with our YSF team to appropriately observe this as we move forward, next year (2022) Juneteenth will be a YSF recognized paid holiday for all eligible YMCA of San Francisco employees. This year, if you would like to honor Juneteenth, work with your direct supervisors to ensure there is appropriate coverage for our programs and services - please use your available “paid time off” such as float/personal, wellness or vacation days.

YMCA of San Francisco is a partnering agency with MegaBlack SF and for the first time, Juneteenth will be celebrated at the Embarcadero on Saturday, June 19th. The event will spotlight local Black producers, celebratory Juneteenth foods, music, and learning opportunities. For more information, visit

I’m excited to celebrate the rich history and culture from the Black community that makes our country and our communities so enriched. We must also leverage the power of this important date for a deeper examination of slavery and its implications of every aspect of American life.

I look forward to sharing our spaces in celebration of resiliency and emancipation as we move forward towards equality for all.

Jamie Bruning-Miles (He/Him/His)

President CEO YMCA of San Francisco

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