Friday, June 17, 2022   

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What Is Juneteenth and Why Is It Celebrated?


Juneteenth is the holiday celebrated on June 19 to commemorate the emancipation of enslaved people in the US. The holiday was first celebrated in Galveston, Texas, whereas on that date in 1865, Union soldiers arrived and announced to enslaved people that the war was over, that slavery was abolished in the United States, and that they were declared free under the terms of the 1862 Emancipation Proclamation that was issued more than two years earlier on January 1, 1863.

A mix of June and 19th, Juneteenth has become a day to commemorate the end of slavery In America and became a federal holiday in 2021. Organizations in a number of states and other countries use the day to recognize the end of slavery and to celebrate the culture and achievements of African Americans.


The Salina Juneteenth Celebration Committee was formed in March of 2007. A committee was establish and the first celebration was June 16-17, 2007. The Proclamation from the City of Salina was issued on June 11, 2007.

The purpose of the Salina Juneteenth Celebration Committee is to promote and cultivate knowledge and appreciation of African American history and culture. Juneteenth celebrates African American freedom while encouraging self-development and respect for all cultures.

Juneteenth is taking on a more national and even global perspective. The future of Juneteenth looks bright as the number of cities and states come on board and form local committees and organizations to coordinate the activities. This national day of pride is growing. The committee continues to organize celebrations to promote African American culture and history for the community of Salina.

Mission Statement:
The purpose of the Juneteenth Celebration is to promote the elimination of racism and cultivate knowledge and appreciation of African American history and culture.

Micah Eklu, Chairperson

Micah Eklu is a local business owner who is passionate about social justice, and equity. As a member of the USD 305 Equity Council, City of Salina Disability Advisory Board, and now Chairwoman of the Salina Juneteenth Committee; I am dedicated to helping improve the overall culture of the City of Salina.

Juneteenth is important to me because it is a day to celebrate freedom, a freedom THOUSANDS of humans never imagined possible. It is a reminder that the impossible is indeed possible.

Jackie Anders, Founder

Jackie Anders is the Founder of Salina Juneteenth. She has been active in the community for many years and supports all activities that are inclusive of all. She has been working in HR for 25+ years and currently holds the title of HR Director. 

"Juneteenth is important to me because our history is important and it is necessary that we educate others on our history and contributions as they are so often overlooked and/or not brought to light at all. Kansas, Salina specifically has great history to be told and I want to make certain that "we" as a committee do our part to educate and share our history with the community."

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