What is Juneteenth?
Not to be confused with the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation on January 1st 1863. The first Juneteenth was 155 years ago on June 19th 1865.
It is the day that Union Gen. Gordon Granger arrived in Galveston, Texas to inform the slave owners that the Civil War had ended and inform the slaves of their official freedom. This took place about two months after Robert E. Lee’s surrender at Appomattox, Virginia. Good news doesn’t always travel fast.
The holiday has been celebrated by African-Americans since the late 1800’s and will most likely be celebrated this year with a renewed spirit as civil rights is at the forefront of our nation's mind.
Living our Mission
Butte CAA is a member of the larger Community Action Partnership that connects CAA’s across the nation. Here is an excerpt of what they had to say:
Currently there is no cure to the health pandemic nor the social pandemic. While we are one human family, both conditions aim to separate us, both aim to weaken us, both aim to dehumanize us and threaten our well-being. During this season of heightened social anxiety, Community Action affirms that our healing as a nation is tied to strengthening our connections as neighbors, family members, co-workers, and communities. Our values assert, "We believe that all people should be treated with dignity and respect and recognize that structural race, gender and other inequities remain barriers that must be addressed." If we truly believe this, we must live it.
We commit ourselves to the health and well-being of everyone and to problem-solving systems and structures that will dismantle disparities and social determinants.
Almost 56 years ago, Community Action was born as part of the civil rights movement, and we continue to denounce all forms of violence and any acts that dehumanize anyone. The words of the Community Action Promise articulate who we are and what we believe, "We care about the entire community". And, in love and unity, we will interrupt the darkness of this time and will continue to "embody the spirit of hope".
Much Work to Be Done
So this Juneteenth we celebrate the milestones we have made as a country, but remain fixed on the work we still have to do.
California has the second to highest poverty rate in the county, even though it is one of the more affluent states 18.2% of the state falls below the poverty line. A large portion of those experiencing poverty are BIPOC (Black Indigenous and other People of Color). Butte County itself has a staggering 20.5% poverty rate.
Our Butte CAA has many branches of operations to help those in need across not only Butte County but also the North State, and our programs are ever evolving to meet the specific needs of our communities.
If you feel like you want to be a part of that, we please ask you to consider donating your time via volunteering or by making a monetary donation. Together we can "embody the spirit of hope" more than we ever could alone.