FOSTERING COMMUNITY BLOG
Juneteenth is the national celebration of the ending of slavery in the United States. On June 19th, 1865, the Union soldiers landed here in Houston's own Galveston, TX with news that the war had ended and that the enslaved were now free. This was already two and a half years AFTER President Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation and slavery had ended.
This day of shock and realization of freedom, turned into an annual day of rejoicing, reflection and prayer. In the early years, June 19th - referred to as "Juneteenth" - was mostly celebrated by the black community. There was often resistance to these celebrations, so they had to take place in rural areas or on church grounds. But as more black people started to become land owners, land was donated and dedicated for the festivities.
Over the years, Juneteenth celebrations and acknowledgment started to decline. But today, more and more organizations, businesses and communities are finally starting to recognize and celebrate Juneteenth. It is an important time for our country to acknowledge American history, educate ourselves and others, promote black culture and achievement, and strive for continued improvement.
Although this historic achievement happened so long ago, we know there is still so much work to be done in the continuous battle against racism and inequality, even to this day. Fortunately, Juneteenth National Independence Day became a national holiday and will be the first new federal holiday since Martin Luther King Jr. Day in 1983.
Houston Angels honors Juneteenth and its history. Houston is the most diverse city in the nation, and foster care itself is an incredibly diverse system of children, caregivers, and biological families of all different races and cultures. Unfortunately, not all people are represented or treated equally.
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures states: "Families of color are disproportionately represented in the child welfare system and are more likely to experience negative outcomes compared to white families. For instance, children of color are more likely to experience multiple placements, less likely to be reunited with their birth families, more likely to experience group care, less likely to establish a permanent placement and more likely to experience poor social, behavioral and educational outcomes." The American Bar Association named the following as contributing factors:
Houston Angels will always strive to educate ourselves and celebrate diversity and inclusion in our city, as well as within our own services. We will continue to advocate for and provide quality, tailored support to the families, children, and youth that we feel lucky to serve. And we will always fight to empower this community to succeed.
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