Celebrating Community this Juneteenth
“Healing is an act of communion”- bell hooks
We believe that every person, family and neighborhood has the potential to bring about positive change. And together, we have the power to do so much more. In that regard, we are honored to officially announce Juneteenth as an official YMCA of San Francisco observed holiday. To make Juneteenth an official holiday was an extensive process, and no small feat. I commend our staff, our board, our community and our employee resource network leaders for their work to elevate the priority of recognizing the importance of this holiday.
As we annually observe Juneteenth, we recognize its rich heritage and importance across the U.S. Here in the Bay, we hope to inspire our staff, community and partners to take the opportunity to reflect on the holiday. While it is a shared holiday for all Americans, it is also a place for healing in African American spaces, and we invite you to take part in all the expressions of this holiday across the Bay Area.
I also want to recognize the work each of us did to make “Juneteenth” an official recognized paid holiday, eligible for all Y of SF employees. This year “Juneteenth” will be observed Sunday and Monday across our facilities and programs. Please see your local branch website for holiday hours.
I look forward to celebrating resiliency within the Black community and our continued fight for equity as we move forward together.
Jamie Bruning-Miles (He/Him/His)
President & CEO
YMCA of San Francisco
History of Juneteenth
On June 19th, 1865, enslaved African Americans were notified by Major Gordon Granger that President Abraham Lincoln had officially freed them. It is from this history that Juneteenth (celebrated on June 19th) began.