Carson City, NV - June 19, 2020
Today, Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak proclaimed that Friday, June 19th, 2020, would be “Juneteenth Day in Nevada.” Juneteenth is the nationally recognized African American holiday observance of the final freeing of enslaved people almost two and a half years after President Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation.
“We have achieved great things in this country and in this State,” said Governor Steve Sisolak. “However, there is still much work to be done in the fight for equality. Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness are universal maxims granted to all Americans upon their birth. Unfortunately, for some races, those axioms are harder to live by and enjoy due to hate, racism, and bigotry. Now is the time for us to effect change and renew our commitment to be a better State and nation while denouncing those behaviors. Juneteenth is a perfect opportunity for self reflection and advancement toward true freedom.”
In addition to the proclamation, Governor Sisolak signed an executive order lowering the state flags to half staff in honor of the lives lost to slavery.
African Americans have played a vital role in growing the State of Nevada into what it is today. Among their countless achievements, to name two, in the North, many Black Nevadans played a crucial role in developing the State’s mining industry, while in the South they teamed with others to build the Hoover Dam.
For all of the African American communities’ significant contributions to a better world and in acknowledgement that they still face difficult challenges in living in a free and true America and Nevada, celebrating Juneteenth Day is one small step in reaffirming the State’s commitment to help battle these injustices. It is also a reminder of the determination of African Americans to push through extreme adversity and hardship, and ultimately lead to triumph.
This proclamation and the State’s leaders are calling on everyone that can, including but not limited to, the news media, educators, and governmental officers to highlight the importance of this day as a day of freedom for all African Americans nationwide, and to acknowledge their significant contributions to both the United States and to the great State of Nevada.