MADISON, Wis. (WMTV)– Madison’s Mayor and the Common Council are calling residents to take up the charge to promote racial inequality and social justice, in commemoration of Juneteeth on Friday.
The lawmakers issued a “Proclamation Recognizing Juneteenth” on Friday, in order to “bring true meaning to the significance of this day as we embark on ways to eradicate systemic racism though police reforms, and addressing health and economic inequities.”
Wisconsin and 46 other states have already declared Juneteenth to be a state holiday, though there is no federal equivalent.
The proclamation laid out several reasons for the city to follow suit on Friday. Lawmakers cited that protests against racism and police brutality have swept across the country, including in Madison, and add that Wisconsin in fact ranks as the worst state for economic racial inequality, according to a new study, as NBC15 News reported.
Juneteenth commemorates the day when federal troops arrived in Galveston Texas on June 19, 1865, where they emancipated enslaved African Americans there. “June 19th is known as Juneteenth in acknowledgement of that fact, and to commemorate this date as the end of slavery in the United States,” the proclamation states.
Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway said in a release, “We as a country have taken some steps towards change, but we can all see that there is much more work to be done. I look forward to working with the African American community to do this hard work and make Madison the city we all want it to be.”