Juneteenth Independence Day Resolution

Davis Joint Unified School District
Resolution No. 45‐22
Juneteenth Independence Day

WHEREAS, news of the end of slavery did not reach the frontier areas of the United States, in particular, the State of Texas and the other Southwestern States until months after the conclusion of the Civil War, more than 2½ years after President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863; and

WHEREAS, on June 19, 1865, Union soldiers, led by Major General Gordon Granger, arrived in Galveston, Texas, with news that the Civil War had ended and that the enslaved were free; and

WHEREAS, African Americans who had been formerly enslaved in the Southwest celebrated June 19, commonly known as “Juneteenth Independence Day,” as inspiration and encouragement for future generations; and

WHEREAS, African Americans from the Southwest have continued the tradition of observing Juneteenth Independence Day for over 150 years; and

WHEREAS, the State of California has designated Juneteenth Independence Day as a special day of observance in recognition of the emancipation of all enslaved people in the United States; and

WHEREAS, Juneteenth Independence Day celebrations have been held to honor African American freedom while encouraging self‐development and respect for all cultures; and are times for reflection and rejoicing; and

WHEREAS, the faith and strength of character demonstrated by formerly enslaved people and the descendants of formerly enslaved people remain an example for all people of the United States, regardless of background, religion, or race; and

WHEREAS, slavery was not officially abolished until the ratification of the 13th Amendment to the Constitution of the United States in 1865. This date is commemorated by the observance of National Freedom Day on February 1 of each year; and

WHEREAS, the United States Congress has designated June 19 as “Juneteenth Independence Day” in recognition of the historical significance of Juneteenth Independence Day to the United States and in order to support the continued nationwide celebration of Juneteenth Independence Day to provide an opportunity for the people of the United States to learn more about the past, to better understand and reckon with the experiences that have shaped the United States, and to recognize that the observance of the end of slavery is part of the history and heritage of the United States; and

WHEREAS, thereafter President Biden proclaimed June 19 as Juneteenth Day of Observance and called upon the people of the United States to acknowledge and celebrate the end of the Civil War and the emancipation of Black Americans, and commit together to eradicate systemic racism that still undermines our founding ideals and collective prosperity; and

WHEREAS the Davis community has a long tradition of acknowledging the true spirit of Juneteenth through our Ancestors, Elders and in collaboration with the Yolo County Community; and

WHEREAS the Davis Joint Unified School District seeks to further solidify and expand its support of the local observance of Juneteenth; and

NOW, THEREFORE LET IT BE RESOLVED, that the Davis Joint Unified School District recognizes Juneteenth, June 19, as:

  1. an annual celebration of the past, present, and future of Black liberation and those who work toward that liberation; and
  2. a constant reminder to continue to work toward eliminating racism, racial bias, and educational disparities within the Davis Joint Unified School District by committing to change the systems that produce those outcomes; and
  3. an opportunity to fulfill a commitment to increase training and curriculum content development in all school disciplines that recognizes the impact, achievements, and contributions from African American/ African Diasporic staff, teachers, administrators, and students to the Davis community at large throughout the year, not only during Black History Month and other ‘designated days.’; and
  4. a day to honor and reflect on the significant role that African Americans have played in the history of the United States and how they have enriched society through their steadfast commitment to promoting unity, equality and justice; and

FINALLY, LET IT BE RESOLVED, that the Davis Joint Unified School District will designate June 19, 2021, and June 19 of each year thereafter, as a local holiday in honor of Juneteenth, until such time as it is designated a state‐mandated holiday by the Governor and/or State Legislature.

PASSED AND ADOPTED by the following vote of the Board of Trustees of the Davis Joint Unified School District, County of Yolo, State of California on December 16, 2021.