RWJBarnabas Health Recognizes Juneteenth

Juneteenth Freedom Day

Today, RWJBarnabas Health joins others in celebrating Juneteenth and commemorating that moment – one that has taken on new significance in recent months and years.

On June 19, 1865, two months after the effective end of the Civil War and more than two years after the Emancipation Proclamation, federal troops marched into Texas and declared the end of slavery.

In 2020, New Jersey officials declared that the state observes Juneteenth on the third Friday of each June. Last year, Juneteenth was officially declared a federal holiday. It is a historical event that is also recognized and observed by our system.

Juneteenth gives us all an opportunity to reflect on American history and the ideals of equality, while serving as a reminder of the overt and entrenched racism still experienced by Black people in this country. The expansive legacy of slavery did not end in 1865. We see it in the grip of a global pandemic that has disproportionately impacted people of color. We see it in the statistics, in the disparate health outcomes experienced by Black individuals and the adverse social determinants of health that have affected entire communities. We see it in the violence and hate of the recent attack in Buffalo.

As an anchor institution in one of the most diverse states in the nation, our mandate is to build an antiracist infrastructure with permanence, one that will serve as our system’s foundation moving forward. We launched Ending Racism Together in 2020 and formally committed to becoming an antiracist organization. Since then, our efforts have taken shape in real and tangible ways, touching everything from our patient care methods and financial investments to our daily interactions and conversations with one another.

This Juneteenth, we invite each and every one of you to join us in upholding our commitment to equity and honoring the legacy of Juneteenth, an African American story that deserves to be remembered, recounted, and upheld.

Learn more about Ending Racism Together at RWJBarnabas Health.