PHILADELPHIA — Mayor Jim Kenney announced today that the City of Philadelphia designates Juneteenth as an official City holiday. As a result, this Friday, June 19, 2020, City offices and facilities will be closed to the public to observe Juneteenth, which commemorates the end of slavery in the United States.
“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,” said Mayor Jim Kenney. “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.”