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Juneteenth: A Day of Celebration and Remembrance

Friday, Jun 19 2020

Abigail Ross Hopper

Today we celebrate the anniversary of the freedom of black Americans, which came almost 100 years after the Declaration of Independence was signed. Two hundred and forty-four years later, black Americans continue to be harmed by racist institutions and laws. In addition to marking the anniversary of emancipation, Juneteenth is an opportunity to call attention to the disparities and systemic racism black people face every day.

For some Americans, Juneteenth may be new. Our educational journey is never over, and I urge you to learn about the lasting impacts of slavery and how Jim Crow laws, redlining, unfair policing practices and so many other injustices still negatively impact black health, wealth, and ultimately what it means to be free in this country.

As we seek solutions to our economic challenges, we must also recognize that the solar industry holds not just the possibility to lead our recovery, but the responsibility to do so with justice and equity as a core value. Solar can create hundreds of new businesses and tens of thousands of new jobs. SEIA and the solar industry remain committed to making racial justice a fundamental part of our work, especially as we seek to rebuild a stronger America with clean, affordable energy.

Whether you take this day to celebrate independence or use it to reflect and educate yourself, it’s an important reminder that racial inequities are pervasive and that we all have the agency and obligation to make sure that black and brown Americans are treated equally.

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