Philadelphia Mayor Makes Juneteenth an Official City Holiday


Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney announced yesterday (June 17) that the city of Philadelphia is signing an executive order that will recognize Juneteenth as an official city holiday. 

“For the past few years I’ve had the privilege of participating in our city’s annual Juneteenth parade and festival, which deepened my appreciation for this important holiday,” Kenney says. “Juneteenth has a unique cultural and historical significance; it symbolizes freedom, represents the triumph of emancipation, and marks a day of reflection. Now more than ever, it’s critically important to acknowledge America’s original sin of slavery-something we as a nation have never atoned for. The only way to dismantle the institutional racism and inequalities that continue to disenfranchise Black Philadelphians is to look critically at how we got here, and make much-needed changes to the governmental systems that allow inequality to persist. This designation of Juneteenth represents our administration’s commitment to reckon with our own role in maintaining racial inequities as well as our understanding of the magnitude of work that lies ahead.”

Under the official city holiday this year and beyond, city offices will be closed on June 19 to observe the day that recognizes the end of slavery in the U.S.