The IATSE Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee recognizes Juneteenth as a pivotal moment in American history and a profound symbol of freedom and justice. On June 19, 1865, news of the Emancipation Proclamation finally reached enslaved African Americans in Galveston, Texas, marking the end of slavery in the United States. This day stands as a reminder of the ongoing struggle for equality and the enduring resilience of the Black community.

Juneteenth is not only a time to celebrate freedom but also to reflect on the progress we have made and the work that still lies ahead in addressing systemic racism and inequality. For labor unions, Juneteenth highlights the importance of solidarity and the fight for fair treatment and rights for all workers. At IATSE, we are committed to fostering an inclusive and equitable environment where all members can thrive. We advocate for inclusion of this important Federal holiday into our contracts.

As we commemorate this important day, we encourage everyone to engage in conversations, educate themselves on the history and significance of Juneteenth, and actively participate in the ongoing fight for justice and equality. Together, we can create a more inclusive and just society.

Recommended viewing and reading for Juneteenth:

WATCH: 5:30 min video on Juneteenth

What is Juneteenth and why is it important?

READ: National Museum of African American History & Culture article:

The Historical Legacy of Juneteenth

READ: Legal Defense Fund article:

From Emancipation to Empowerment: Juneteenth’s Enduring Connection to Voting Rights

WATCH: A 1 hour 15 min documentary on Juneteenth:

Juneteenth: Faith & Freedom